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From the collection of the 


11 V 



w P c 

San Francisco, California 


• • ••• • 

«• •• • • 

•• .1 ••• 


Index tQ the 


Volume XXVII, 1948 

Information Department 


New York 7, N. Y. 







SPRING, 1948 

''We Must Continue to Go Forward." by Leroy A. Wilson 5 

Public Telephones : They Serve Everybody, by T. Hunt Clark ... 9 

Rural Telephone Progress — 1947 20 

Making Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Do Double Duty, by Ben- 
jamin K. Boyce 23 

Business and People, by Keith S. McHugh 31 

It Was a Tough Winter 39 

Bell System Inventions Are Not Suppressed, by Hubert A. Pat- 

tison 48 

W^ashington's Xew Federal Dial Switching System, by George 

E. DesJardins 50 

The Single Warrant : A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance, by 

Frederick A. Wiseman 59 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 70 

The Goose That Lays the Golden Egg 72 

SUMMER, 1948 

Exchange Cable : The Drama of Post-war Production, by Charles 

G. Sinclair, Jr 77 

The License Contract, by Keith S. McHugh 88 

The Thirty Millionth Bell Telephone Is Installed in Iowa 93 

The Wires W^hich Carry the News of the World, by Robert E. 

Moore 94 

Southern Xew England and the Telephone 104 

The Benefit and Pension Plant Is Thirty-five, by Charles J. 

Schaefer, Jr • 105 

Bell System Advertising Wins Award 113 

Charts at Works, by Kenneth W. Haenier 114 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 1 24 

Ideas. Men, and Things, by James O. Perrine 126 

The Greatest Communication Network in History 135 



AUTUMN, 1948 

How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users, by Clifton W. 

Phalcn 141 

A Design for Living, by Theresa E. Boden 148 

Telephone City 162 

Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year, by Fredric M. 

Biathrow and F. Raymond Brewster 164 

Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet, by Erie S. Miner .... 172 

Most People Are Honest, by H. Montague Pope 185 

Telephones of the World, by James R. McGozvan 192 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 202 

WINTER, 1948-1949 

Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S.. by A. Roger 

Chappelka 209 

Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing, by Keith S. McHugh . . 217 
The Part Communications. Play in Civil Defense, by Judson S. 

Bradley .' . 220 

The Millionth Bell Rural Telephone Since the War Is Installed . . . 226 
Toll Dialing by Operators Reaches Some 300 Places, by Ernst J. 

Guengerich 228 

Fair Exchange, by John Mason Brotvn 238 

Right-of-Way Comes First, by Harry H. Hoopes 240 

Installation by Western Electric Company, by Alvin von Auiv .... 249 

The Things Men Live By, by Walter S. Gifford 259 

Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations, by Justin E. Hoy 260 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 270 

Bell System's Television Networks Connected 271 




Issue Page 
Accounting — Billing Systems: 

"Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year" by Fredric 

M. Biathrow and F. Raymond Brewster — 5 photos ....Au 164 

Advertising Award: 

A. T. & T. wins "Honorable Mention" for national maga- 
zine advertisements in 1947 — photo Su 113 

American Telephone & Telegraph Company: 

"The License Contract" by K. S. McHugh Su 88 

"The A. T. & T. Company Opens New Broadcasting Studios 

in New York" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") . . . .^^^ Su 124 

"The American Telephone Historical Collection" Wi 270 

Annual Reports: 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

Arnold, H. D.: 

Scientific research Su 131 

Associated Companies: 

"The License Contract" by K. S. McHugh Su 88 

Awards — Advertising : 

A. T. & T. wins "Honorable Mention" for national maga- 
zine advertisements in 1947 — photo Su 113 

Bacon, Sir Francis: 

Scientific experiments Su 126 

Baekeland, George E.: 

Statement on suppression of patents Sp 49 

Becquerel, Andre: 

Scientific research Su 132 

"Beginning of Policy of Selling Service and Not Instruments" 

(In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 202 

Bell, Alexander Graham: 

Scientific research Su 126 

Watson denied that Bell offered to sell stock at low price . . . .Sp 22 

"Bell System Ideals Are High" Wi 270 

"Bell System Inventions Are Not Suppressed" by Hubert A. 

Pattison Sp 48 

"Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing" by Keith S. Mc- 
Hugh Wi 217 

"Bell System's Television Networks Connected" — 1 map Wi 271 



Issue Page 
Bell Telephone Laboratories: 

"The License Contract" by K. S. McHugh Su 88 

"The Benefit and Pension Plan Is Thirty-five" by C. J. 

Schaefer, Jr Su 105 

Biathrow, Fredric M. and F. Raymond Brewster: 

"Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year" — -5 photos.. Au 164 

Biography : 

Biathrow, Fredric M. — portrait Au 138 

Boden, Theresa E. — portrait Au 138 

Boyce, Benjamin K. — portrait Sp 2 

Bradley, Judson S. — portrait Wi 206 

Brewster, F. Raymond — portrait Au 139 

Chappelka, A. Roger — portrait Wi 206 

Clark, T. Hunt — portrait Sp 2 

Desjardins, George E. — portrait Sp 3 

Guengerich, Ernst J. — portrait Wi 207 

Haemer, Kenneth W. — portrait Su 75 

Hoopes, Harry H. — portrait Wi 207 

Hoy, Justin E. — portrait Wi 207 

McGowan, James R. — portrait Au 139 

McHugh, Keith S. — portrait Su 74 

Miner, Erie S. — portrait Au 139 

Moore, Robert E. — portrait Su 74 

Pattison, Hubert A. — portrait . Sp 3 

Perrine, James O. — portrait Su 75 

Phalen, Clifton W.— portrait Au 138 

Pope, H. Montague — portrait Au 139 

Schaefer, Charles J., Jr Su 75 

Sinclair, Charles G., Jr. — portrait Su 74 

von Auw, Alvin — portrait Wi 207 

Wilson, Leroy A. — portrait Sp 2 

Boden, Theresa E.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 138 

"A Design for Living" — 13 photos Au 148 

Boyce, Benjamin K.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 2 

"Making Inter-Ofifice Trunk E(|uipment Do Double Duty" 

— 4 photos, 1 map, 2 diagrams Sp 23 

Bradley, Judson S.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 206 

"The Part Communications Play in Civil Defense" — 1 

photo Wi 220 

Brashear, John Alfred: 

Scientific research Su 127 

Brewster, F. Raymond: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 139 

Brewster, F. Raymond and Fredric M. Biathrow: 

"Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year" — 5 photos.. Au 164 

Brown, John Mason: 

"Fair Exchange" Wi 238 



Issue Page 
Buildings — Telephone : 

"Telephone City" — photo Au 162 

Bush, Dr. Vannevar: 

Statement on suppression of patents Sp 49 

"Business and People" by Keith S. McHugh Sp 31 

Cady, Walter Gusrton: 

Scientific research Su 133 

"Catalina Radio Telephone System Superseded by Submarine 

Cable"— ( In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 203 

Chappelka, A. Roger: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 206 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka — 6 photos Wi 208 


"Charts at Work" by K. W. Haenier— 10 charts Su 114 

Customer opinion of service. 1946-1948 Su 119 

Distribution of the world's telephones — 1947 Su 115 

Estimated Bell System exchange cable shipments for 1948 
compared with the expected 1948 production of certain 

other items Su 87 

Growth in stations, 1876-1919 Su 117 

Manual answers, per cent over 10 seconds — 1939. 1947, 1948.. Su 118 

Millions of telephones, 1920-1947 Su 123 

^'et telephone gain, 1935-1947 Su 122 

Percentage distribution of telephone plant investment. 

1920-1947 Su 121 

Telephone development of large cities, January 1. 1948 ....Au 198 

Telephone movement and net gain, 1920-1947 Su 120 

Telephones in countries of the world. January 1. 1948 Au 194 

Telephones— in millions, 1920-1947 Su 118 

Telephones per 100 population. January 1, 1947 Su 116 

Telephones per 100 population. January 1, 1948 Au 196 

The World's telephones, January 1. 1948 Au 197 

The World's telephones by continental areas, January 1, 

1948 Au 193 

"Charts at Work" by Kenneth W. Haemer — 10 charts Su 114 

Civil Defense: 

Bell System Men in Office of Civil Defense Planning Wi 206 

"The Part Communications Play in Civil Defense" bj- 

Judson S. Bradley — 1 photo Wi 220 

Clark, T. Hunt: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 2 

"Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody" — 9 photos ....Sp 9 

Construction : 

"Second Transcontinental Route Planned" — (In "25 Yrs. 

Ago") Sp 71 

Crookes, Sir William: 

Scientific research Su 129 



Issue Page 
Crystals : 

"Ideas, Men and Things" by J. O. Perrine Su 132 

Curie, Paul: 

Scientific research Su 132 

Curie, Pierre: 

Scientific research Su 132 

Davy, Sir Humphrey: 

Quote on discovery of Michael Faraday Su 127 

Quote on success through failures Su 126 

DeForest, Lee: 

Scientific research Su 131 

"A Design for Living" by Theresa E. Boden — 13 photos Au 148 

Desjardins, George E.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 3 

"Washington's New Federal Dial Switching System" — 

4 photos Sp 50 

DeVries, Hugo: 

Scientific research Su 128 


Showing DSA switchboards arranged for dual use Sp 29 

Inter-office trunking circuits, showing dual use Sp 27 

Round robin duplex teletype service Su 99 

Telephone equipment arranged to give both customers and 

ticket sellers access to reservation clerks over the same # 

turret lines Wi 266 

Telephone equipment arranged to provide separate turret 
lines for customers and ticket sellers to reach reserva- 
tion clerks Wi 267 

Dial Systems: 

"Making Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Do Double Duty" 

by Benjamin K. Boyce — 4 photos, 1 map, 2 diagrams ...Sp 23 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka — 1 photo Wi 212 

"Toll Dialing by Operators Reaches Some 300 Places" by 

Ernst J. Guengerich — 4 photos, 1 map Wi 228 

"Washington's New Federal Dial Switching System" by 

George E. Desjardins — 4 photos Sp 50 

Displays and Exhibits: 

"Southern New England and the Telephone" — 2 photos ....Su 104 

Dufay, Charles: 

Scientific research Su 130 


"Early Telephone Experiment" Sp 30 

Edison, Thomas A.: 

Quote on suppression of patents Sp 49 

Scientific research Su 126 



Issue Page 

"Business and People" by Keith S. McHugh Sp 31 

"The Things Men Live By" by Walter S. Gifford Wi 259 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

Employees — Classes : 

"A Design for Living" by Theresa E. Boden — 13 photos ...Au 148 
"Exchange Cable: The Drama of Postwar Production" by 

Charles G. Sinclair. Jr. — 9 photos. 1 chart Su 76 


"Fair Exchange" by John Mason Brown Wi 238 

Faraday, Michael: 

Scientific research Su 126 


"The License Contract" b3' Keith S. McHugh Su 88 

"The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance" 

by Frederick A. Wiseman — 6 photos Sp 59 

"W'e Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 


"The New Bell Flag"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Su 124 

Fleming, John Ambrose: 

Scientific research Su 131 

Franklin, Benjamin: 

Scientific research Su 126 



Scientific experiments Su 126 

Geissler, Heinrich: 

Scientific research Su 129 

Gibbs, Josiah Willard: 

Phase Rule Su 128 

Gifford, Walter S.: 

"The Things Men Live By" by Walter S. Gifford Wi 249 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

"The Greatest Communication Network in History" Su 134 

"The Goose That Lays the Golden Egg" Sp 72 

Guengerich, Ernst J.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 207 

"Toll Dialing by Operators Reaches Some 300 Places" by 

Ernst J. Guengerich — \ photos, I map Wi 228 


Haemer, Kenneth W.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 75 

"Charts at Work" — 10 charts Su 114 

Henry, William: 

Scientific research Su 126 



Issue Page 
Hertz, Heinrich: 

Scientific research Su 130 

History : 

"The American Telephone Historical Collection" — (In "25 

Yrs. Ago") Wi 270 

"Beginning of Policy of Selling Service and Not Instru- 
ments"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 202 

"Early Telephone Experiment" Sp 30 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

April 1923" Sp 70 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

July 1923" Su 124 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

October 1923" Au 202 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

January 1924" Wi 270 

Watson denied that Bell offered to sell stock at low price . . . .Sp 22 

Hittorf, Johann Wilhelm: 

Scientific research Su 129 

Hoopes, Harry H.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 207 

"Right-of-Way Comes First" — 3 photos Wi 240 

"How Western Electric Services Telephone Users" by Clifton 

W. Phalen— 4 photos Au 140 

Hoy, Justin E.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 207 

"Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations" — 5 photos, 

2 diagrams Wi 260 


"Ideas, Men, and Things" by J. O. Perrine Su 126 

Independent Telephone Companies: 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka — 6 photos Wi 208 

"Installation by Western Electric Company" by Alvin von 

Auw— 6 photos Wi 249 

Inventions : 

"Bell System Inventions Are Not Suppressed" by Hubert 

A. Pattison Sp 48 

"Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing" by Keith S. Mc- 

Hugh Wi 217 

"It Was a Tough Winter"— 16 photos Sp 39 

Jewett, Dr. Frank B.: 

"Addresses Pacific Coast A.I.E.E. Meeting from New 

York"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 202 

Quote on suppression of patents Sp 49 

"Joint A.I.E.E. Meeting by Wire and Loudspeaker" — (In "25 

Yrs. Ago") Sp 70 



Issue Page 
Langmuir, Irving: 

Scientific research Su 131 

Lenard, P. E. A. von: 

Scientific research Su 129 

"The License Contract" bj^ K. S. McHugh Su 88 


"Jewett, Dr. F. B., Addresses Pacific Coast A.LE.E. Meet- 
ing from Xew York" — (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 202 

"Joint A.I.E.E. Meeting by Wire and Loudspeaker" — 

(In "25 Yrs. Ago") Sp 70 


"Making Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Do Double Duty" by 

Benjamin K. Boyce — \ photos, 1 map, 2 diagrams Sp 23 


"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

Manson, Dr. Melville H.: 

Statement on Design for Living program Au 148 


Bell System coaxial and radio relay networks which carry 

television programs Wi 271 

Facilities added in Bell Sjstem rural areas during 1947 Sp 21 

Outline map of Manhattan and the Bronx, showing loca- 
tions of central offices Sp 25 

States connected with the Xew York and Chicago crossbar 

toll dialing systems Wi 229 

Marconi, Guglielmo: 

Scientific research • Su 130 

Maxwell, J. Clerk: 

Scientific research Su 130 

McGowan, James R.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 139 

"Telephones of the World" by James R. McGowan — 5 

charts Au 192 

McHugh, Keith S.: 

"Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing" Wi 217 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 74 

"Business and People" Sp 31 

"The License Contract" Su 88 

Portrait Sp 2 

Portrait Wi 206 

Mendel, Gregor: 

Research with garden peas Su 128 

"The Millionth Bell Rural Telephone Since the War Is In- 
stalled"— 2 photos Wi 226 

Miner, Erie S. 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 139 

"Promoting Safet\' in Our Automotive Fleet" — 14 photos ..Au 172 



Issue Page 
Mobile Telephone Service: 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." hy A. 

Roger Chappelka — 1 photo Wi 213 

Moore, Robert E.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 74 

"The Wires Which Carry the News of the World" — 8 

photos, 1 diagram Su 94 

Morgan, William: 

Scientific research Su 129 

Morse, Samuel B.: 

Scientific research Su 126 

"Most People Are Honest" hy H. Montague Pope — 4 photos . . . . Au 185 

Motion Pictures: 

"Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year" by Fredric 

M. Biathrow and I". Raymond Brewster — 5 photos Su 170 


"The New Bell Flag"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Su 124 

Newton, Sir Isaac: 

Scientific experiments Su 126 

Operator Toll Dialing: 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka Wi 212 

"Toll Dialing by Operators Reaches Some 300 I'laces" by 

Ernst J. Guengerich — 4 photos, 1 map Wi 228 

Page, Arthur W. : 

Quote on public relations Sp 58 

"The Part Communications Play in Civil Defense" by Judson S. 

Bradley— 1 photo Wi 220 


"Bell System Inventions Are Not Suppressed" by Hubert 

A. Pattison Sp 48 

"Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing" by Keith S. 

McHugh Wi 217 

"The License Contract" by K. S. McHugh Su 88 

Pattison, Hubert A.: 

"Bell System Inventions Are Not Suppressed" Sp 48 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 3 

Pay Stations: 

"Most People Are Honest" by H. Montague Pope — 4 

photos Au 185 

"Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody" by T. Hunt 

Clark Sp 9 



Issue Page 

"The Benefit and Pension Plan Is Thirty-five" by C. J. 

Schaefer. Jr Su 105 

Perrine, James O.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 75 

"Ideas, Men, and Things" Su 126 

Phalen, Clifton W.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 138 

"How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users" — 1 photos.. Au 140 

Pierce, George Washington: 

Scientific research Su 133 

Plant— Central Office: 

"Installation by Western Electric Company" bj' Alvin von 

Auw— 6 photos Wi 249 

Plant— Outside — Trucks : 

"Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet" by Erie S. 

Miner — 14 photos Au 172 

Plant — Outside — Cables : 

"Catalina Radio Telephone Sjstem Superseded by Sub- 
marine Cable" — (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 203 

"Exchange Cable: The Drama of Post-war Production" 

by Charles G. Sinclair, Jr. — 9 photos, 1 chart Su 76 

"Making Inter-Oflfice Trunk Equipment Do Double Duty" 

by Benjamin K. Boyce — 4 photos, 1 map, 2 diagrams . . . .Sp 23 

Policies : 

"Beginning of Policy of Selling Service and Not Instru- 
ments"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 202 

"Bell System Ideals Are High"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Wi 270 

"Bell Sj^stem Inventions Are Not Suppressed" by Hubert 

A. Pattison Sp 48 

"Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing" by Keith S. 

McHugh Wi 217 

"The Things Men Live By" by Walter S. Giflford Wi 259 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

Pope, H. Montague: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 139 

"Most People Are Honest" — \ photos Au 185 

Preece, Sir William: 

Scientific research Su 131 

Priestley, Joseph: 

Scientific research Su 132 

"A Privacy Radio System for Catalina Island" — (In "25 Yrs. 

Ago") Su 124 

Private Branch Exchanges: 

"Washington's New Federal Dial Switching System" by 

George E. Desjardins — 4 photos Sp 50 

"Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet" by Erie S. Miner 

— 14 photos Au 172 



Issue Page 
Public Relations: 

"Business and People" by Keith S. McHugh Sp 31 

"How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users" by Clifton 

W. Phalen — 4 photos Au 140 

"Most People Are Honest" by H. Montague Pope— 4 photos. .Au 185 

"Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody" by T. Hunt 

Clark — 9 photos Sp 9 

Quote by A. W. Page on Bell System public relations Sp 58 

"Right-of-Way Conies First" by Harry H. Hoopes — -3 

photos Wi 240 

"The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance" 

by Frederick A. Wiseman — 6 photos Sp 59 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka — 6 photos Wi 208 

"Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year" by Fred- 

ric M. Biathrow and F. Raymond Brewster — 5 photos ..Au 164 

"Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations" by Justin 

E. Hoy — 5 photos, 2 diagrams Wi 260 

"We Must Continue To Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson ....Sp 5 

Public Telephones: 

"Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody" by T. Hunt 

Clark — 9 photos Sp 9 



"The Greatest Communication Network in History" Su 135 

Radio Stations: 

"The A. T. & T. Company Opens New Broadcasting Studios 

in New York"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") ', Su 124 

Radio — Transoceanic : 

"Transatlantic Radio Telephone Experiments" — (In "25 

Yrs. Ago") Sp 70 

Radio Telephony: 

"A Privacy Radio System for Catalina Island" — (In "25 

Yrs. Ago") Su 124 

Rates — Telephone : 

"The Goose That Lays the Golden Egg" Sp 72 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

Rayleigh, John William Strutt: 

Scientific experiments Su 126 

Research : 

"Ideas, Men, and Things" by J. O. Perrine Su 126 

Richardson, O. W.: 

Scientific research Su 131 

"Right-of-Way Comes First" by Harry H. Hoopes — 3 photos ...Wi 240 

Roentgen, Wilhelm Konrad: 

Roentgen and X-Rays Su 129 

"Rural Telephone Progress— 1947"— 1 map Sp 20 



Issue Page 
Rural Telephone Service: 

"The Millionth Bell Rural Telephone Since the War Is In- 
stalled"— 2 photos Wi 226 

"Rural Telephones" Wi 237 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka — 6 photos Wi 208 


"Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet" by Erie S. 

Miner — 14 photos Au 172 

Schaefer, Charles J., Jr.: 

"The Benefit and Pension Plan Is Thirty-five" Su 105 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 75 

"Second Transcontinental Route Planned" — (In "25 Yrs. Ago")..Sp 71 

Sinclair, Charles G., Jr.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 74 

"Exchange Cable: The Drama of Post-war Production" — 

9 photos, 1 chart Su 76 

"The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance" by 

Frederick A. Wiseman — -6 photos Sp 59 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. Roger 

Chappelka — 6 photos Wi 208 

Snyder, John W.: 

Portrait Sp 54 

"Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year" — by Fredric 

M. Biathrow and F. Raymond Brewster — 5 photos Au 164 

"Southern New England and The Telephone" — 2 photos Su 104 

Statistics — Telephone : 

"Telephones of the World" by James R. McGowan — 5 

charts Au 192 

"World's Telephone Statistics, 1922"— (In "25 Yrs. Ago") ..Au 202 

Securities— A. T. & T.: 

"The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance" 

by Frederick A. Wiseman — 6 photos Sp 59 

Watson denied that Bell offered to sell stock at low price . . . .Sp 22 

Stockholders : 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. .\. Wilson Sp 5 

Storms : 

"It Was A Tough Winter" — 16 photos Sp 39 


Chart — Customer opinion of service. 1946-1948 Su 119 

"The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance" 

by Frederick A. Wiseman Sp 63 

"Telephone Surveys" Wi 269 

Telcmobile : 

"Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody" by T. Hunt 

Clark — 2 photos Sp 15 



Issue Page 

"Telephone City"— photo Au 162 

Telephone Development: 

"The Millionth Bell Rural Telephone Since the War Is In- 
stalled"— 2 photos Wi 226 

"The Thirty Millionth Bell Telephone Is Installed in Iowa" 

— photo Su 93 

"Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations" by Justin E. 

Hoy — 5 photos, 2 diagrams Wi 260 

Telephone Pioneers of America: 

"The Things Men Live By" by Walter S. Gifford Wi 259 

Telephone Service: 

"How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users" by Clifton 

W. Phalen— 8 photos Au 140 

"The License Contract" by K. S. McHugh Su 88 

"Making Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Do Double Duty" 

by Benjamin K. Boyce — 4 photos, 1 map, 2 diagrams ...Sp 23 

"Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody" by T. Hunt 

Clark— 9 photos Sp 9 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka — 6 photos Wi 208 

"Telephone Service" Wi 219 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

"Telephones of the World" by James R. McGowan — 5 charts ..Au 192 

Telephones — Statistics : 

Chart — Distribution of the world's telephones — 1947 Su 115 

Chart— Growth in stations, 1876-1919 Su 117 

Chart — Manual answers, per cent over 10 seconds, 1939, 

1947, 1948 Su 118 

Chart— Millions of telephones, 1920-1947 Su 123 

Chart — Net telephone gain, 1935-1947 Su 122 

Chart — Telephone movement and net gain, 1920-1947 Su 120 

Chart— Telephones— in millions, 1920-1947 Su 118 

"Charts at Work" by K. W. Haemer— 10 charts Su 114 

"Telephones of the World" by James R. McGowan — 5 

charts Au 192 

Telephones — Uses : 

"Fair Exchange" by John Mason Brown Wi 238 

"The Part Communications Play in Civil Defense" by 

Judson S. Bradley— 1 photo Wi 220 

"Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations" by Justin 

E. Hoy — 5 photos, 2 diagrams Wi 260 

"Washington's New Federal Dial Switching System" by 

George E. Desjardins — 4 photos Sp 50 

Telephotography : 

"The Wires Which Carry the News of the World" by Rob- 
ert E. Moore— 3 photos Su 100 

Teletypewriters : 

"The Wires Which Carry the News of the World" by Rob- 
ert E. Moore — 4 photos, 1 diagram Su 94 



Issue Page 

"Bell System's Television Networks Connected" — 1 map ...Wi 271 

"The Greatest Communication Network in History" Su 135 

"Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S." by A. 

Roger Chappelka Wi 214 

"The Things Men Live By" by Walter S. Gifford Wi 259 

"The Thirty Millionth Bell Telephone Installed in Iowa"— photo . . Su 93 

Thomson, J. J.: 

Scientific research Su 131 

"Toll Dialing by Operators Reaches Some 300 Places" by Ernst 

J. Guengerich — 4 photos. 1 map Wi 228 

Training : 

"Installation by Western Electric Company" by Alvin von 

Auw — 6 photos Wi 249 

"Transatlantic Radio Telephone Experiments" — 1923 Sp 70 

Treasury Department: 

"The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance" 

by Frederick A. Wiseman — 6 photos Sp 59 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, April 

1923" Sp 70 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, July 

1923" Su 124 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, Oc- 
tober 1923" Au 202 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, Jan- 
uary 1924" Wi 270 

Vail, Theodore N.: 

Quote on Benefit Plan Wi 259 

Volta, Alessandro: 

Scientific research Su 126 

von Auw, Alvin: 

Biographical sketch — portrait W^i 207 

"Installation by Western Electric Company" — 6 photos ....Wi 249 

von Laue, Max: 

Scientific research Su 129 


"Washington's New Federal Dial Switching Sjrstem" by George 

E. Desjardins — \ photos Sp 50 

Watson, Thomas A. 

Watson denied that Bell oflFered to sell stock at low price . . . .Sp 22 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. W^ilson Sp 5 

Western Electric Company: 

"Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing" by Keith S. 

McHugh Wi 217 

"Exchange Cable: The Drama of Post-war Production" bj' 

Charles G. Sinclair, Jr. — 9 photos, 1 chart Su 76 



Issue Page 
"How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users" by Clif- 
ton W. Phalen— 8 photos Au 140 

"Installation by Western Electric Compan\'" by Alvin von 

Auw — 6 photos Wi 249 

"Most People Are Honest" by H. Montague Pope — 4 photos. . Au 185 

Wilson, Leroy A.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 2 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward" by L. A. Wilson Sp 5 

"Winter, It Was a Tough"— 16 photos Sp 39 

"Wires Which Carry the News of the World, The" by Robert 

E. Moore — 8 photos, 1 diagram Su 94 

Wiseman, Frederick A.: 

Portrait Sp 3 

"The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance" 

— 6 photos Sp 59 

"World's Telephone Statistics, 1922" Au 202 




k\ 1 1 '■ «^ 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward*^ • Leroy A. Wilson 

Public Telephones: They Serve Everyhody • T. Hunt Clark 

Making Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Do Double Duty 
Benj^^min K. Boycb 

Business and People • Keith S. McHugh 

Washington's New Federal Dial Switching System 
George E. DesJardins 

The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance 
Frederick A. Wiseman 

nencan' Miepnom 

Bell TelephoneA^^W 

spring 1948 

"We Must Continue to Go Forward," Leroy A. Wilson, 5 

Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody, T. Hunt Clark, 9 

Rural Telephone Progress — 1947, 20 

Making Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Do Double Duty, 
Benjamin K. Boyce, 23 

Business and People, Keith S. McHugh, 31 

It Was a Tough Winter, 39 

Bell System Inventions Are Not Suppressed, Hubert A. Pattison, 48 

Washington's New Federal Dial Switching System, 
George E. DesJardins, 50 

The Single Warrant: A Step Ahead in Corporate Finance, 
Frederick A. Wiseman, 59 

Twenty-Five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 70 

The Goose That Lays the Golden Egg, 72 

Indexes Now Available, 72 

y4 Medium of Suggestion ^ a Record of Progress 

Published for the supervisory forces of the Bell System by the Information Department of 
American Telephone and Telegraph Co., /p5 Broadway^ New York 7, N. Y. 
Lerov a. Wilson, President; Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, Sec; Donald R. Belcher, Treas. 

Who's Who & What's What 
in This Issue 

The statement which Leroy A. Wil- 
son made at the annual meeting of stock- 
holders of the A. T. & T. Company on 
April 21 is his first formal public utterance 
since he was elected to the presidency of the 
company two months earlier. 

Mr. Wilson's election as president cli- 
maxed a Bell System career which had be- 
gun 26 years before with the Indiana Bell 
Telephone Company when, two days after 
graduation from Rose Polytechnic Institute 
in Terre Haute, in June of 1922, he re- 
ported for work as a traffic clerk and stu- 
dent in Indianapolis. During his years 
with that company he had direct charge of 
the telephone operating forces in several 
districts throughout the state before return- 
ing to Indianapolis as district traffic super- 
intendent in 1927. 

It was in 1929 that Mr. Wilson trans- 
ferred to the Department of Operation and 
Engineering of the A. T. & T. Company 
in New York. His first work there was in 
the traffic division, but he also gained ex- 

perience in dial equipment engineering and 
in related fields. Ten years after his ar- 
rival in New York, he moved from the 
traffic to the commercial division of O. & 
E., where he was placed in charge of the 
work on telephone directories. The fol- 
lowing year he was made rate engineer in 
the same division, and in 1942 he was ap- 
pointed to head the entire commercial di- 

It was from this post that Mr. Wilson 
was promoted to an A. T. & T. vice presi- 
dency in 1944, with the assignment to study 
the revenue requirements of the Bell Sys- 
tem. His "Reasonable Earnings to Insure 
the Best Service," published in this Maga- 
zine for Autumn 1945, expounds his phi- 
losophy on the subject and directly pro- 
motes an understanding of it. 

It is a coincidence that T. Hunt Clark's 
"Public Telephones: They Serve Every- 
body" appears in this issue, since his only 
previous contribution, "That First Call 

T. Hunt Clark 

Benjamin A. Boyce 

Keith S. McHu^h 

Hubert A. Pattison 

George E. Desjardins Frederick A. Wiseman 

Home," was published in the Magazine 
for Autumn 1945, which carried Mr. Wil- 
son's only previous contribution. 

An officer in tvvo wars, Mr. Clark spent 
the years between them in the commercial 
engineering division of the New York 
Telephone Company; as secretary to Wal- 
ter S. Gifford, then president of the A. T. 
& T. Co. and since February 18 of this 
year chairman of the board ; and in the 
sales and servicing section of the commer- 
cial division of the O. & E. Department of 
A. T. & T. After discharge in 1945 — 
with the rank of Major — from his duties as 
Chief of the Control and Communications 
Section of the National Office of Civilian 
Defense in Washington, he rejoined the 
sales and servicing section, where his field 
has included public telephone service. 

The report of the past year's progress in 
carrying forward the Bell System's pro- 
gram of rural telephone development is 
one of an annual series prepared by the 
commercial division of the A. T. & T. 
Company's Department of Operation and 
Engineering. It is published in these pages 
as supplementing "More and Better Tele- 
phone Service for Farmers," in our issue 
for Winter 1944-45, and "Progress in Ex- 
tending Bell Rural Telephone Service," in 
our issue for Winter 1946—47. 

Making two telephone circuits grow 
where but one had grown before is an ac- 

complishment which Benjamin K. Boyce 
has opportunity to achieve^— thanks to the 
peculiar geography of Manhattan Island 
and the fixed telephone habits of large 
numbers of customers of the New York 
Telephone Company. 

Mr. Boyce joined the Engineering De- 
partment of the New York Telephone 
Company in 1907, and served in various 
engineering capacities before becoming toll 
and exchange plant engineer in 1921. 
Five years later he became chief engineer 
of the Upstate Area of that company, with 
his headquarters in Albany, and in 1939 he 
was appointed to a like post in the Man- 
hattan Area. After another tw^o 5 ears he 
became vice president and general manager 
of the Bronx- Westchester Area, and since 
1942 he has been Chief Engineer, Manhat- 
tan-Bronx- Westchester, New York Tele- 
phone Company. 

A statement of the Bell System career of 
Keith S. McHugh will be found in the 
Magazine for Autumn 1947, in which 
was published his "How Big Are the Little 
Things in the Telephone Business?" 

Joining the Bell System in 19 18, Hubert 
A. Pattison was with the Patent Depart- 
ment of Western Electric Company for 26 
years. He was in charge of the work at 
Kearny from 1922 to 1925, and then until 

{Continued on page iq) 

President, American Telephone and Telegraph Company 

The New Head of the American Telephone and Telegraph 

Company Greets the Stockholders at the Annual Meeting 

In New York on April 21 


We Must Continue 
To Go Forward" 

Lerojf yl. IVilson 

Two MONTHS AGO your directors 
elected a new President of the com- 
pany. I am deeply aware of the re- 
sponsibilities that have been entrusted 
to me. I take heart from the con- 
viction that Bell System policies and 
the high standards of performance 
achieved over the years give us the 
best kind of foundation for meeting 
the problems and opportunities of the 

It is a privilege to join with you 
today in paying tribute to the man 
who during 23 of his nearly 44 years 
of Bell System service has headed this 
company. Through successive pe- 
riods of boom, depression, and war, 
and through these post-war years, 
Mr. Gifford has kept our public- 
service enterprise on a true course. 
He has done so with untiring patience 
and steady courage, with considera- 
tion for the interests of everyone as- 
sociated with the business — whether 
as customer, stockholder, or em- 
ployee — and with a personal gra- 
ciousness that endears him to all who 
know him. 

Many minds and many hands have 
shared in making our service every- 
where more extensive, more useful, 
and more valuable to more people. 
They have had, in Mr. Gifford, the 
leader who with wisdom, foresight, 
and rare judgment has made their 
teamwork increasingly effective. 
That he is now serving as Chairman 
of the Board and is continuing to 
participate actively in the business is 
a great comfort to me, and I am 
sure is heartily welcomed by the 

The Annual Report, which was 
sent to all stockholders in February, 
presented in detail the management's 
accounting of its stewardship for the 
year 1947, and the statement which 
accompanied dividend checks of April 
15, less than a week ago, gave the 
latest financial results of Bell System 

Since V-J day the System has had 
under way the largest construction 
program in its history, in order to 
provide new buildings, central office 

Bell Telephone Magazine 


apparatus, telephone lines, and other 
equipment needed to meet the un- 
precedented demand for service and 
to make the service better. More 
than seven million telephones have 
been added. Demand for service 
continues at a high level, and to meet 
it we must keep on with our heavy 
construction program, which will re- 
quire large additional amounts of 
new capital. 

Nearly two billions of new capital 
have been raised in the last 24 
months. The greater part has been 
obtained from long-term debt issues. 
Some $785,000,000 has come from 
the sale of convertible debentures and 
the conversion of debentures into 
A. T. & T. stock. The number of 
stockholders has reached a record 
total of 737,000, an increase of 14,- 
000 since the beginning of this year. 
We heartily welcome those who are 
acquiring shares in the ownership of 
our expanding business. 

The proportion of debt in the total 
capital of the System is now about 
50 percent; approximately one-fifth 
of this is in the form of debentures 
convertible into stock. Each deben- 
ture converted reduces the proportion 
of debt, and with earnings adequate 
to attract additional conversions we 
can in due course look forward to a 
lowering of the current debt ratio. 
We must obtain the additional capi- 
tal needed to provide the service that 
our customers want, and at the same 
time maintain a sound financial struc- 
ture, which is the only basis for good 
service, good wages, and protection 
of the savings invested in the busi- 
ness. This means that earnings must 
continue to provide a return on the 
stockholders' investment sufficient to 
permit the majority of financing 

through issues of stock or debentures 
that are later converted into stock. 
Your management is taking every 
means to accomplish this, and I am 
confident that we shall be successful 
in the future as in the past. 

More than 20 years ago, speaking 
before the 1927 Convention of the 
National Association of Railroad 
and Utilities Commissioners in Dal- 
las, Texas, Mr. Gifford stated the 
fundamental policy of the Bell Sys- 
tem. It was obvious, he said, that 
the only sound policy that will meet 
the System's obligations "is to con- 
tinue to furnish the best possible serv- 
ice at the lowest cost consistent with 
financial safety. This policy is bound 
to succeed in the long run and there 
is no justification for acting other- 
wise than for the long run." 

The Bell System has been success- 
ful because it has lived by this policy 
and lived up to it. A few illustra- 
tions from the record will help to 
show this. They are the best evi- 
dence too that the same policy will 
guide us well in the future. 

Today we are able to provide a 
great deal more service to more peo- 
ple than 20 or 25 years ago. The 
number of Bell telephones has in- 
creased nearly three times. The vol- 
ume of calls has increased from about 
18 billion a year to more than 50 
billion. Service is faster, the quality 
of transmission better, and errors less 

The plant is more sturdy and the 
service most dependable. The range 
of service has been vastly extended, 
not only to bring the convenience of 
the telephone to the more remote 
areas of our own country but also to 
reach countries all over the world 


'JVe Must Continue To Go Forward" 

and to serve ships, automobiles, 
trains, and aircraft. Teletypewriter 
exchange service has been extended 
to customers in all parts of the 

New types of facilities are being 
introduced, including coaxial cables 
and radio relay systems which are 
carrying television programs as well 
as telephone conversations. New 
switching systems are going into the 
plant that will in time further speed 
up toll and long distance service by 
enabling operators to dial calls di- 
rectly from coast to coast and by 
enabling customers to dial many of 
their own toll calls to points beyond 
their local exchange area. New tele- 
phone instruments and teletypewriter 
equipments are under development 
which will further increase the con- 
venience and ease of communication. 

We are keenly aware that the prob- 
lems caused by the war and the un- 
precedented demands of the post- 
war period have made it impossible 
to give service to all who want it and 
to give every customer the kind of 
service he wants. Yet, though the 
service today is not in every respect 
what we would like to have it and 
intend to make it, it is beyond all 
comparison better than it was 20 or 
25 years ago. 

Not only is the service better but 
its value to the user is far greater 
than ever before. For example, a 
telephone user today on the average 
can reach three times as many tele- 
phones in his local exchange area as 
he could 25 years ago. Another evi- 
dence of the increase in value is the 
tremendous increase in demand. The 
fact is that generally the price of tele- 
phone service to the user is today 

relatively much less than it used to be. 
Because of the steep rise in the cost 
of providing service since the war, 
Bell System companies have recently 
had to request increases in telephone 
rates, and additional increases are 
necessary. However, may I point 
out again that the increases that have 
been made effective in the last year 
or two are the first important ones 
since the period of price adjustment 
following World War I, and that 
they have been much less than the 
rise in prices generally. 

Under the policy stated in 1927, 
then, the quantity of service, the 
quality of service, and the value of 
service have all increased. The pol- 
icy also pointed out that "Payments 
to stockholders limited to reasonable 
regular dividends with their right, 
as the business requires new money 
from time to time, to make further 
investments on favorable terms, are 
to the interest both of the telephone 
users. and the stockholders." 

Reasonable and regular dividends 
have been paid to stockholders 
through the speculative 1920s, 
through the depression years of the 
'30s, and through the war-time and 
post-war '40s. As new money has 
been required, stockholders have had 
the right from time to time to invest 
further in the company. The finan- 
cial integrity of the business has been 
maintained. Your management is 
keenly aware that this is essential to 
the progress of the business, to the 
improvement and expansion of the 
service, and to make possible the 
fullest measure of opportunity to 

In the same way, our policy recog- 
nizes that it is to the advantage of 
customers and stockholders that the 

Bell Telephone Magazine 

employees of the Bell System be well 
paid, that they carry on their work 
under good working conditions, and 
that individual abilities be discovered 
and developed, with promotions 
made from the ranks. The joint en- 
terprise of investors who are paid a 
reasonable return and employees who 
are paid good wages is to the advan- 
tage of both groups, and also to the 
advantage of telephone users, who 
thereby obtain steadily better and 
more valuable service. 

Over the years public regulatory 
authorities have generally recognized 
this. From the record of the past 
there is every reason to believe that 
on the whole they will continue to do 
so and that they will approve what- 
ever increases in telephone rates may 
be necessary to keep the telephone 
companies financially sound and in a 
position to continue their progress in 
increasing the value of the service. A 
financially healthy telephone company 
is an asset to community, state, and 
nation; financial ill health could only 
produce in the long run the most 
costly of service to the user. 

As Mr. Gifford observed in the 
policy statement of 1927, to which I 
have already referred, "The margin 
of safety in earnings is only a small 
percentage of the rate charged for 

service, but that we may carry out 
our ideals and aims it is essential that 
this margin be kept adequate. Cut- 
ting it too close can only result in 
the long run in deterioration of serv- 
ice while the temporary financial 
benefit to the telephone user would 
be practically negligible." 

The common sense of this state- 
ment is as obvious today as it was 
then. A sound and prospering or- 
ganization is the only kind of organi- 
zation that can continue to make 
progress in the public interest. We 
cannot rest on the record of the past, 
but under the policy which has been 
so successful in the past we must con- 
tinue to go forward. That service 
be further expanded and improved; 
that the cost to the user continue to 
be as low as possible; that employees 
find good pay, opportunity, and satis- 
faction in their telephone careers; 
that stockholders receive a reason- 
able and regular return and that their 
savings invested in the business be 
protected — in meeting these objec- 
tives lies the task of your manage- 
ment; a task that is accepted with 
confidence, with whole-hearted en- 
thusiasm, and with the determination 
that the people of our nation shall 
continue to enjoy the most, the cheap- 
est, and the best telephone service in 
the world. 

A Three-fold Program of Improvement^ Instituted since 

The ITar^ Promises Better Service for Customers and a 

Consequent Gain in Revenue for the Bell System 

Public Telephones: They 
Sen^e Ea erybody 

T. Hunt Clark 

One of the first big post-war sales 
and servicing jobs to get under way 
in the Bell System's Associated Com- 
panies, and one which is already 
showing important results, is aimed 
at improving public telephone serv- 
ice * — and thus public telephone reve- 
nues. Important as public telephone 
service is at present — it handled more 
than two billion calls last year — the 
companies are moving aggressively 
ahead on a plan to make it still more 

Three outstanding factors have 
made this one of the lead-off post-war 
sales projects: 

I. It is a job on which a good 
deal can be done with only minor 
demands on the already over- 
loaded outside telephone plant and 
central office facilities. 

* This article refers only to public telephones ; 
i.e., coin and attended telephones which are 
provided for the use of the general public. 
Not included in the discussion are the semi- 
public telephones provided primarily for the 
subscriber, with public use more or less inci- 

2. It is needed to insure the ade- 
quacy of the service on which the 
entire public depends so much, not 
only in emergencies but for busi- 
ness and all sorts of other oc- 
casions as well. It is particularly 
important at this time because of 
the number of people who have 
been unable as yet to obtain tele- 
phone service of their own. 

3. It offers attractive opportuni- 
ties for increasing revenues sub- 

The public telephone promotion 
forces of the Associated Companies 
are pushing forward on three pri- 
mary fronts: 

A. Improving service and reve- 
nues at existing public telephones 
by improving the convenience, com- 
fort and attractiveness of the serv- 

B. Relieving congestion and im- 
proving revenues by providing ad- 
ditional public telephones. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


The size and importance of public 
telephone service is indicated by the 
fact that in 1947 the more than two 
billion calls made at public tele- 
phones produced some $150,000,000 
in gross revenue. 

While public telephones comprise 
only 1-5 percent of the System's main 
telephones, they contribute 7 percent 
of the total billing. 

And every call is an opportunity to 
create better public relations. 

C. Encouraging the general pub- 
lic to place calls at public tele- 
phones rather than to use the pri- 
vate telephones of subscribers in 
stores and other business places. 

Proof of the Puddifig 

What can a well integrated, aggres- 
sive public telephone promotion pro- 
gram such as this really accomplish? 

Perhaps the easiest way to visual- 
ize it, and to prove it, is to see its re- 
sults in a medium sized city — one of 
the many where this work is under 
way. Let's look at what happened 
in Winston-Salem, N. C, recently. 

The Winston-Salem exchange area 
has a population of 119,000; and 
last summer, when the public tele- 
phone promotion man came into town 
to start work, it had 300 coin tele- 
phones in service. The representa- 
tive visited all these locations, and 
carried out such a program. 

He saw to it that locations, and 
directory, lighting, and ventilating fa- 
cilities, were improved where needed. 

He arranged for refinlshing any 
booths in poor condition, and en- 
listed the cooperation of the pub- 
lic telephone agents — the owners or 
lessees of the premises where the tele- 

phones are located — in providing 
adequate day-to-day janitor service. 

Fourteen businessmen were per- 
suaded that public telephone calls had 
no place on their business lines. 

In all, he found ways to Improve 
124 installations, and he found good 
spots for 43 more coin telephones. 

So attractive to the public were the 
service Improvements he was able to 
achieve that, a few months after the 
job was done, revenue from the coin 
telephones was found to be running 
50 percent ahead of the same period 
of the previous year. That contrasts 
sharply with the increase of only 0.7 
percent In revenues from coin stations 
in the rest of the state of North 
Carolina during the same period. 

Certainly this Is proof of a mighty 
good pudding. 

Now let's look a little more closely 
at the three aspects of this big pro- 
motion job. 


Conditions at all existing installa- 
tions are being thoroughly reviewed 
for opportunities for Improving serv- 
ice to the public. Special attention is 
paid to low revenue producers. 

Take the nickels, dimes, and quar- 
ters collected from public telephones 
last year — 

Stack them up in one pile and you 
would have a monument over 3,000 
miles high. 

Lay them end to end and you 
would have a metal ribbon over 
36,000 miles long. 

Load them in boxcars and you 
would need a 300-car train over two 
miles in length. 


Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody 


For example, here 
are some of the meas- 
ures being taken by the 
Associated Companies 
at such locations to im- 
prove — 

Convenience: by mov- 
ing the station to a 
more accessible loca- 
tion; or by providing 
shelves or tables for 
directories which are 
now hung from chains; 
by replacing directories 
with torn or missing 

A bank of five booths 
in a store off the lobby 
of an office building 
was made more accessi- 
ble by moving them out into the 
lobby. Result: an increased patron- 
age which brought with it an 80 
percent increase In . revenue, or 
$3,400 more a year. 

Comfort and Appeal: by better 
lighting, installing fans and seats, im- 
proving janitor service, and moving 
from excessively noisy locations. 

A telephone near a juke box is not 
pleasant or easy to use, and the pub- 
lic will avoid it; whereas it can be a 
real public servant In another spot on 
the premises. The ceiling lights In 
booths are now being changed from 
25-watt to 40-watt bulbs for better 
visibility when dialing, making notes 
during conversations, etc. 

Privacy: by providing booths for 
public telephones which formerly 
were simply mounted on a wall. 

Recently such an open telephone In 
a five and ten cent store was replaced 
by two telephones In booths. The 
greater privacy was appreciated — to 

Installation of a public telephone was once a particularly 
noteworthy occasion 

the tune of a 200 percent increase in 
revenue — $1,200 more a year. 

Prominence: by adding signs, or 
changing their type or location, to ob- 
tain greater coverage and visibility. 

Illuminated signs are coming into 
greater use at appropriate locations. 
Moving the station to a more con- 
spicuous location is also an effec- 
tive means of making It more con- 
venient — as was illustrated earlier. 
Brightly painted booths at selected 
locations are making their appear- 
ance around the country, giving pub- 
lic telephone locations a bright new 

To carry out a job such as this, 
Involving about 300,000 public tele- 
phones, requires a well planned, 
closely coordinated program of In- 
spection, prescription, and corrective 
action. The principals concerned are 
the Commercial, Plant, and Engi- 
neering Departments and our friends 
the public telephone agents. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Work begins with a thorough in- 
spection of each location by the Com- 
mercial public telephone promotion 
people. In addition, as a regular and 
continuing thing, the public telephone 
coin collectors make it a point to be 
on the look-out for and to report any 
conditions which may affect service 
adversely. They are in an excellent 
position, for example, to spot missing 
equipment, damaged parts, and un- 
sightly conditions. 

In the plans for increasing the at- 
tractiveness of service at existing 
public telephone locations, the agent 
plays a particularly important part. 
The telephone company looks to him 

This elaborate telephone booth of half a century ago had 
many of the important features of its modern counterpart 

to provide suitable space for the 
equipment, to keep the facilities 
clean, and to furnish current for 
booth and directory lights. Thus he 
shares with us the job of maintain- 
ing the installation in good condition. 
For his part he is recompensed, 
generally by a commission on the re- 
ceipts, so he has a stake in seeing to 
it that his public telephones are in- 
viting to the public. 

The Bell System pays the tidy sum 
of about $28,000,000 yearly to its 
public telephone agents. 

To get the agent off to a fresh 
start, and to make sure that a good 
housekeeping job is done, some of 
the companies say, in 
effect, "Mr. Agent, 
this time we'll clean 
up the booth for you 
and then you'll see 
what a difference a little 
more 'spit and polish' 
makes to appearances 
— and, incidentally, to 
the size of your com- 
mission check at the 
end of the month." 
More often than not 
Mr. Agent is impressed 
by the results and 
this has a salutary 
effect on his caretak- 
ing activities in the 

The Plant Depart- 
ment majors in the 
important job of sched- 
uling and taking the 
necessary action to 
make such improve- 
ments as refinishing 
booths, relocating the 
facilities, adding signs, 
and so on. 


Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody 



Busy, congested locations are get- 
ting first attention, and new tele- 
phones are being added in localities 
where facility conditions permit. 
Close coordination with the central 
office equipment schedule is main- 
tained, to make sure that this new 
installation work is intensified as ad- 
ditional central office equipment is 

In the meantime, the program pro- 
vides for assuring that the best use is 
made of what we have. We want to 
be sure that existing public telephones 
are in locations where they do the 
most good. 

Usually the amount of money col- 
lected from a public telephone is a 
good index of how well it is serving 
the public. So, if receipts from a 
low payer cannot be improved by 
the various corrective measures men- 
tioned earlier, it is moved to a loca- 
tion where it will be more useful to 
the public. 

However, there are exceptions to 
this. Some public telephones are 
comparatively little used but are left 
where they are because many people 
in the locality have no other tele- 
phone to use in an emergency. 

USE OF subscribers' SERVICE 

The channeling of bona fide public 
telephone calls over coin telephone 
lines is another part of the public 
telephone promotion man's service 
improvement job. 

In many instances, without realiz- 
ing the disadvantages, a business sub- 
scriber permits his customers and the 
general public to use his business tele- 
phone for calls which public tele- 
phones are intended to handle. 

He is unaware that this needlessly 

An average modern public telephone instal- 
lation: clean-cut^ Junctional. Note par- 
ticularly such points as the seat in the 
booths directories on a well-lighted shelf 
and memo-sheet holder above them, and the 
sign at the top of the booth giving the loca- 
. tion of other public telephones 

ties up his line and he may lose im- 
portant calls. 

He may find he has not collected 
for toll calls that were made. 

If there are enough calls, he may 
be depriving himself of commissions 
on these calls if they were made over 
a public telephone on his premises. 

The corrective action taken is to 
make sure that attractive, convenient 
coin telephone service is available 
nearby and to move the subscriber's 
service to a spot less accessible to the 

In a Texas city, the public tele- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


phone people worked with 19 large 
downtown businesses which were 
making their own business lines 
available to the general public. They 
included department stores, banks, 
theaters, etc. The businessmen were 
convinced by the telephone represent- 
atives that it would be to their ad- 
vantage to discontinue this practice 
and to encourage the public to use 
the coin telephones. Sixteen public 
telephones were installed for public 
convenience and the business tele- 
phones were moved. Public tele- 
phone revenues at these locations are 
now $14,400 a year — and the busi- 
nessmen are getting nice commissions. 

Good Service Is the Aim 

Good public telephone promotion 
pays off in more than nickels, dimes, 
and quarters. 

The public relations stake in the 
job is also big. Big because each 
day millions of people all over the 
country who use these facilities are 
impressed favorably — or otherwise. 
The influence, good or bad, is cumu- 
lative, and therefore of great impor- 
tance in molding public opinion of 
the telephone company. There is 
plenty of evidence of this. 

That people do appreciate clean, 
well-equipped, conveniently located 
public telephones is being clearly evi- 
denced in Winston-Salem and other 
places where this work has been un- 
der way. 

Also from time to time there are 
the dramatic occasions when public 
telephones and public telephone peo- 
ple can render unusual and much 
valued service. 

Take, for example, the recent com- 

Modern design and architectural treatment make this attended -public telephone 

center attractive 


Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody 


ment of a commuter who 
said "That job was 
worth four full pages of 
newspaper advertising in 
building good will." 

This is what inspired 
his remark. 

He was one of thou- 
sands who were ma- 
rooned in a railroad sta- 
tion when the "big snow" 
hit the New York area 
right after Christmas 
and badly disrupted train 
and bus service. The 
situation at this station 
was particularly acute, 
and the public telephones 
in the station were 
jammed in the emer- 

To do what they 
could to meet the urgent 
needs of the situation, 
the New York Tele- 
phone Company dis- 
patched a number of special repre- 
sentatives to the location. Equipped 
with armbands reading "Telephone 
Company," they stationed themselves 
at the public telephones and rendered 
all kinds of special assistance. They 
made change, gave out long distance 
call information, and made additional 
directories available. 

Because of the excessively heavy 
traffic, there were long dial-tone and 
circuit delays. Some users became 
impatient, and with others unfamiliar 
with dial coin telephone service did 
not wait for dial tone and lost their 
nickels. As well as they could, the 
representatives made refunds. 

Several of the representatives, 
with the railroad company's assist- 
ance, set up shop in a ticket seller's 

An outdoor public telephone. When shortages of equip- 
ment have made it impossible to provide residence tele- 
phones., booths such as this have brought service to 
housing developments which otherwise would have been 
entirely without it 

booth and hung up a sign reading 
"New York Telephone Company 
Representative." A special line to 
the "A" board was installed, and 
when anyone was particularly over- 
wrought and ran into delay in com- 
pleting his call, the representative 
undertook to relay the message to the 
called number. This ticket window 
did a land office business and in a 
small way assumed the proportions 
of a general information bureau. 

For the better part of a week, as 
long as the emergency lasted, these 
special emissaries of helpfulness and 
good will were on the job. 

Special Services and Equipment 

This awareness of public needs and 
reaction shows itself in a variety of 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Atelemobile brings the convenience of telephone service to a dog show which^ like many 
other public gatherings^ would otherwise be without it 

Interior of a telemobiUy showing the arrangement of space to accommodate booths y waiting 

customers^ and attendant 


Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody 


other very practical ways 
in tiie public telephone 
promotion job. For ex- 
ample, the increasing 
number of public tele- 
phone installations at 
outdoor locations recog- 
nizes that they are some- 
times better public serv- 
ants out-of-doors than 

The end of a transit 
line, or a transfer point 
in the outskirts of a city, 
is illustrative. Here peo- 
ple often need to make 
calls after the stores in 
the neighborhood are all 

Missed the bus! Train 
delayed ! Must call 
home ! The outdoor pub- 
lic telephone meets the 
need. Many more of 
them are coming into 

The outdoor location is also play- 
ing an important part in many new 
residential areas where facility short- 
ages prevent furnishing main-station 
telephone service for the time being 
and where suitable indoor locations 
are not available. 

In some places they are also being 
placed experimentally along super- 
highways where roadside commercial 
establishments to house indoor pub- 
lic telephones are often non-existent 
or few and far between. 

There are other new developments 
designed to do whatever can be done 
to provide convenient public tele- 
phone service wherever it is needed. 

The telemobile, an attended pub- 
lic telephone center on wheels, with 
about six booths, space for an attend- 

One type of telecart^ luhich brings coin-box telephone 
service to bedridden patients in veterans^ hospitals 

ant, and seats for customers, is often 
used to meet the special needs for 
service at county fairs, important 
golf tournaments, dog shows, and 
similar occasions. They get around. 

Their war record is distinguished. 
Some of them served on the decks of 
battleships in dock, and others served 
at desert military posts. They were 
widely used where indoor space could 
not be obtained immediately and 
where speed in establishing service 
was important. 

The telecart, the tea wagon tele- 
phone, is a war baby originally de- 
veloped to bring telephone service to 
the bedridden patients in military 
hospitals. It did its job well and is 
still used widely in the hospitals of 
the Veterans Administration. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Colorful booth installations attract attention — and customers. 

York City subway station 

This pair is in a New 

Today, advance planning in coop- 
eration with the V. A. is making it 
possible to equip these hospitals with 
suitable telephone outlets, with the 
result that a nurse can plug in a 
telecart for service at the bedside of 
any bedridden veteran. 

For the wheel-chair patient, public 
telephones are installed in over- 
sized booths, big enough to accom- 
modate his chair. For those with in- 
jured hearing, hard-of-hearing (am- 
plifying) sets are provided; and for 
men on crutches there are booths 
with and without seats, so they may 
choose whichever is more convenient. 

You may never have seen Gelett 
Burgess' purple cow, but in New 
York City and perhaps in other 
places you can see gay red tele- 
phone booths. They are intended to 
and do attract attention and custom- 

ers in places where they might other- 
wise be overlooked. 

So far, the attention-getting rec- 
ord of these booths is remarkable. 
Repainting a booth red, and thus im- 
pressing on passers-by its convenient 
availability, generally increases the 
revenue about 25 percent. 

Coupled with other improvements, 
revenue increases have been even 
greater. Public telephone people 
have, for example, removed a group 
of four booths, installed three red 
booths a few feet away at a better 
location with improved lighting and 
directory facilities, and have found 
that the increased usage thus stimu- 
lated has stepped up revenues by 780 
percent — a rate of $1,600 a year. 

Outdoor booths at gas stations are 
going up in the color motif of the 
gasoline company whose products are 


Public Telephones: They Serve Everybody 


sold there — another example of the 
variety of possibilities for using color 
in this field. 

The use of striking color is, of 
course, appropriate only at selected 
locations and, as you might expect, 
intelligence and taste are necessary to 
achieve pleasing and effective results. 

Multiple Objectives 

The attractive color treatment is 
illustrative of the new attention which 
the promotion people and engineers 
are turning to the job of improving 
public telephone service and revenues. 
The possibilities of improving 
lights, booths, directory facilities, 

signs and booth ventilation are all 
being studied. The result will no 
doubt be still further improvements 
in the appearance, as well as the gen- 
eral convenience, of public telephone 
installations. Meanwhile, the pres- 
ent fuller utilization of existing fa- 
cilities — booth fans. Illuminated signs, 
special exterior finishes, and the like 
— is already bringing benefits to the 
users of this most necessary service. 
More modern and convenient pub- 
lic telephone service, more widely 
used by a more satisfied public, with 
increasing revenues to the companies, 
are the aims of this big nickel, dime, 
and quarter job. 

Who's Who & What's What 

{Continued from page 3) 

1944 he was at W. E. headquarters in New 
York, where his duties included contract 
negotiations. In 1944 he became assistant 
general patent attorney of the A. T. & T. 
Company, and since 1945 has been general 
patent attorney. 

Since 1937, when he transferred to the 
then Procurement Division, now the Bu- 
reau of Federal Supply, of the U. S. Treas- 
ury Department at Washington, George 
E. DesJardins has been interested in the 
Federal Government's utilities services. 
With a background of an electrical engi- 
neering degree from the University of 
Maine, he has, as engineer and economist 
in the service of the Federal Government, 
been engaged in studying some of its tele- 
phone and communications problems. The 
answer to one of them is the recently in- 
stalled Federal Government Inter-Agency 
Dial Switching System, which he helped 
develop over a period of ten years and 
which he discusses in this issue. 

Among his present responsibilities is a 
project of current interest to the Bell Sys- 

tem operating companies. This is the U. S. 
Treasury's "consolidated telephone con- 
tract" program, covering some 40 major 
city areas, where substantially all telephone 
service to Governmental activities may be 
procured under a series of nfaster contracts 
between the Bureau of Federal Supply and 
the various companies. Mr. DesJardins, 
working with the companies' tariffs arni 
engineers, sets up schedules of rates ap- 
plicable to each area, which schedules are 
used in operating under the contracts. 
The resulting simplified operation is mu- 
tually advantageous. 

Although Frederick A. Wiseman's 
article in this issue appears as a sequel to 
"The Biggest Offer Ever," which he con- 
tributed to the Magazine for Winter 
1947—48, it describes an operation which 
preceded the 1947 convertible debenture 
offer and greatly simplified the handling of 
it. Mr. Wiseman's Bell System career is 
recounted briefly in the earlier issue. 

The aerial photographs on pages 24 
and 5 1 were obtained from Fairchild Aerial 
Surveys Inc. 

Rural Telephone Progress— ig4j 

The aggressive nation-wide Bell System 
program for providing telephone service for 
another million customers in rural areas is 
moving along ahead of schedule. This 
plan, of unprecedented proportions, was 
announced in 1945 as the first post-war 
step in resuming the active extension and 
improvement of telephone service in rural 
areas. Considering the magnitude of the 
undertaking and the serious shortage of all 
kinds of supplies, it looked like a three- to 
five-year job. 

Actually, by the end of 1947, only a 
little over two years after V-J Day, the 
Bell Companies had added 700,000 tele- 
phones in rural areas: 70 percent of the 
job had been done in about half the time. 
To do it, new rural customers were con- 
nected at a rate many times faster than 
ever before in the Companies' history. 

During 1947 alone, 309,000 were con- 
nected — a pace which brought telephone 
service to about 1,000 additional rural 
families each working day of the year. 

Today, as a result of this record per- 
formance and the active rural programs in 
other telephone companies throughout the 
country, it is estimated that about 42 per- 
cent of the farms of the country have tele- 
phone service. This compares with 32 per- 
cent at the beginning of 1945. 

Back of the progress made on the Bell 
System rural extension program is the 
story of the work of literally an army of 
engineers and rural experts who have given 
their full time to the job. Despite unusual 
difficulties, they have built enough new 
rural pole line in the last two years to 
stretch twice around the world. In the 

same period 300,000 miles of wire have 
been strung. 

In addition, they have made a real start 
toward improving and modernizing rural 
telephone service. Lines which had been 
temporarily overloaded to provide service 
for people without any service at all are 
being relieved ; the aim is to reduce the 
number of parties on a line to not more 
than eight and ultimately to less than eight. 
And, as rapidly as possible, the older crank- 
type telephones are being replaced by the 
most up-to-date types of hand sets. 

Probably nothing, however, expresses so 
well what has been accomplished thus far 
as the testimony of the people themselves; 
people in out-of-the-way rural places all 
over the country who have been brought 
closer to each other and to the outside by 
these new telephone lines. 

For example, when the 168 rural fami- 
lies scattered over some 60 square miles in 
and around the virtually isolated communi- 
ties of Bayside and Bonnie View in south- 
east Texas were connected to the new rural 
telephone lines which were built into their 
neighborhood last fall, they spoke of it as 
one of the most important events of the 
year. They compared the importance of 
the 48 miles of new rural pole line serving 
them to the new network of improved 
highways just being completed in the area. 
And this is understandable, for telephone 
service has removed the serious obstacle of 
distance. Friends, relatives, business asso- 
ciates, doctors, and police were now as close 
as their telephones. 

This freedom from isolation was at- 

Rural Telephone Progress — 1947 




tained in thousands of remotely located 
communities all over the country in 1947 
as Bell System pole line building crews 
moved in. 

A tow-headed West Virginia mountain 
boy expressed it, in his own way, when he 
spotted telephone linemen heading his way. 
"They're coming!" he shouted. "The line- 
men are coming. They say we'll get our 
telephone before the end of the week, and 
so will Grandma!" 

City comforts drop off quickly up the 
road where the boy lives, some miles from 
Charleston, West Virginia. The strip of 
macadam soon dwindles to a meandering 
dirt road, impassable in winter. A rail- 
road spur provides the only other connec- 
tion with the outside world. 

For weeks the families in the valley and 
on the surrounding slopes had watched in- 
tently while telephone construction crews 
pushed ahead slowly, blasting holes in the 
rock}' soil to set each pole, in many places 
cutting and clearing the dense growth of 
trees and underbrush so trucks and ma- 
chinery could get through, and oftentimes 

carrying materials into place by hand where 
the mountains were too steep for trucks to 
get in. 

The promise of telephone service in the 
valley was being met. It would provide an 
important new link with the outside world 
for all the families in the valley, all the 
3^ear around, no matter how hard the 

An Oklahoma farmer who recently wrote 
to the telephone company expressed it still 
another way: 

"I watched your crew for days — cutting 
right-of-ways, dynamiting every pole hole, 
and then finally connecting our service. 
Your company has taken our farm area 
out of isolation. The telephone has given 
us added protection from careless people 
who are responsible for our forest fires, 
and lawless elements who sometimes in- 
vade the farm districts. Most of our fami- 
lies live far apart and a good distance from 
public transportation, and with the tele- 
phone they can expedite assistance." 

More, probably, than any one else, farm 
people know this feeling of security. It 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

comes of incidents such as that which oc- 
curred outside Rugby, North Dakota re- 
cently, when the teacher of a rural school 
was able to telephone and get badly needed 
medical help for one of her pupils. The 
school telephone had been installed only a 
short time before ; it was one of many con- 
nected to a network of new telephone lines 
built into the neighborhood. 

The Texas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, 
and North Dakota experiences mentioned 
briefly here are only typical. They echo 
hundreds of others across the country and 
can be repeated in every state. They mark 
the steady progress of the most intensive 
rural telephone building program ever un- 
dertaken by the Bell System. 

This rapid progress in the building pro- 
gram would not have been possible with- 
out the fullest use of fast, economical con- 

struction methods developed and perfected 
by telephone engineers in recent years. 
Stronger wire cut down the number of 
poles required considerably: poles are now 
set farther apart. Better tools have helped 
to speed up the lineman's job: portable 
power-driven augers now dig pole holes 
where rock doesn't interfere; plows dig 
trenches, bury wire, and cover it, all in one 
operation in localities where soil conditions 
permit. In addition, with the close co- 
operation of the REA and private power 
companies, the important new techniques 
of using the same wires to provide both 
power and telephone service and of using 
the same poles to carry both power and 
telephone wires are being introduced as 
rapidly as practicable. 

As for what's ahead — the Bell System 
rural program will continue to be pushed 
ahead at all practicable speed in 1948. 

It is safe to say that at least a hundred persons have told me 
during the last forty years that Professor Bell tried to sell to 
them, or to their fathers or uncles, or intimate friends, his 
telephone stock at a very low figure — ^$10 a share is the price 
usually mentioned — and that, to their everlasting regret, they 
missed this opportunity to become rich by refusing Bell's offer 
with some such cynical remark as, "I have no money to throw 
away on such foolishness as a telephone." It is a pathetic pic- 
ture that this conjures up, but all these stories are untrue, 
for neither the great inventor nor any of his associates ever 
peddled a share of Bell stock. If either of us sold any it was 
through a broker on the stock exchange after it had a market 
value above par. 

A popular variation of this story is that some one owned a 
big block of telephone stock, and being in financial trouble gave 
it to a creditor, who took it unwillingly as a thing of no value, 
but who afterwards became wealthy from it, while the hard- 
up man who brought him his fortune struggled on in dire 
poverty. This is also fiction. 

From "Exploring Life," the Autobiography of 
Thomas A. Watson. Appleton, publisher, 1Q26. 

Dual Use of Central-office Mechanisms for Two Types of 

Traffic with Different Busy-hour Peaks Makes Additional 

Facilities Available for Customers 

Making Inter-OfRce Trunk 
Equipment Do Double Duty 

Benjamin K. Boyce 

A CONSTANT PROBLEM of telephone 
engineers is to have enough equip- 
ment where it is needed when it is 
wanted, since wide swings in custom- 
ers' requirements occur daily. In 
general, the equipment needs of the 
busy hours of the busy season must 
be taken into consideration. 

Fortunately, one of the useful 
properties of telephone circuits is 
that they may be rearranged — in- 
terconnected, disconnected, extended, 
reduced, within certain limits — for 
longer or shorter periods, to form 
new or additional direct circuits to 
this point or that and for one reason 
or another. 

It is principally with toll circuits 
that this is done, and with them it is 
a not unusual occurrence.^ Some of 
these rearrangements can be planned 
in advance — as when it is apparent 
that extra toll circuits will be neces- 
sitated by differences in day and eve- 

1 See "On Watch— All Over the Map," Quar- 
terly, April 1939. 

ning traffic or to provide for sched- 
uled conventions or sporting events 
or seasonal usage. Others must be 
made on an emergency basis, because 
of unpredictable changes in traffic 
flow. and because of circuit interrup- 

It is feasible to provide for and 
schedule a similar rearrangement of 
local circuits under certain special 
conditions. These conditions include 
the existence in one local exchange 
area of many central offices with a 
myriad of inter-office trunking cir- 
cuits among them, and a geographi- 
cal or other situation which is con- 
ducive to the flow of telephone traffic 
in different directions at more or less 
regular times and in substantial quan- 

These special conditions prevail in 
the Manhattan local exchange area. 

Manhattan is what most people 
mean when they say New York, al- 
though it is but one of the five 
boroughs which comprise New York 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


<^ ;:.■ 'AiriiSi^^ 

L- '■ 











^^^'l .■ 


Manhattan Island^ looking northward from the Battery toward the Bronx. In the 

foreground are the skyscrapers of the downtown financial district; at the left is the Hudson 

River, with a bit of New Jersey beyond; and at the right is the East River ^ which separates 

Manhattan from Brooklyn and Queens Boroughs 

City. It is a long, narrow island, 
two and a half miles at its greatest 
width, and more than I2 miles from 
its upper limit, the Harlem River, 
to its lower extremity, the Battery, 
which looks out upon the waters of 
New York harbor. Manhattan has 
a permanent population of nearly 
2,000,000, which is more than dou- 
bled each week-day by an influx of 
transients and commuters. 

A few blocks above the Battery is 
Wall Street, on and about which are 
grouped many large financial insti- 
tutions. Northward are found light 
manufacturing and mercantile indus- 
tries and wholesale and retail mer- 
chandising; from 42nd to 59th 
Streets is, broadly speaking, the re- 

gion of theaters, hotels, department 
stores, and specialty shops of many 

North of 59th Street, which may 
be said to be a dividing line, Man- 
hattan is largely residential in char- 
acter; and above Manhattan lies the 
almost wholly residential borough of 
the Bronx. South of 59th Street the 
business of Manhattan carries on. 

It is the clear-cut difference be- 
tween the two sections, residential 
and business, which creates the cor- 
responding difference in the charac- 
teristics of local telephone usage. 
And it is the latter difference which 
makes possible the dual use of central 
office equipment on which inter-office 
trunking circuits terminate. 


Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Doing Double Duty 


Manhattan and the Bronx in outline. 
The figures represent the number of local 
central offices of the New York Telephone 
Company in buildings at approximately 
those locations on the first of May 

Opportunities for Dual Use 

The business area of Manhattan, 
south of 59th Street, is served by 
some 54 panel dial and crossbar dial 
central offices. 

In these offices the busy hour for 
originating calls is usually in the fore- 
noon, and in some of them the vol- 
ume of business handled in the morn- 
ing busy hour amounts to as much as 
17 percent of the day's total traffic — 
which is at the rate of handling the 
entire day's traffic in six hours. In 
general, the afternoon traffic is much 
less than the morning's; in the eve- 
ning, with business buildings virtu- 
ally empty of the day's throng, the 
traffic is only a small fraction of 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


the morning busy hour. The conse- 
quence is a surplus of unused cen- 
tral office equipment during after- 
noon and evening hours. 

The residential section of Manhat- 
tan, north of 59th Street in general, 
is served by 27 central offices. In the 
Bronx there are another 32. 

Here, typically, the volume of 
traffic is spread throughout the en- 
tire day, without the pronounced 
morning busy hour that occurs in the 
central offices serving the business 
section. There is, nonetheless, a 
large evening requirement for equip- 
ment in central offices serving a resi- 
dential area. 

Now it isn't practicable, in a met- 
ropolitan area such as Manhattan, to 
combine in a single central office some 
subscriber lines from the downtown 
business section with others from the 
uptown residential section and thus 
obtain a composite volume of traffic 
in the morning and evening busy pe- 
riods. But it is possible to combine 
certain elements of the inter-office 
trunking circuits within a central of- 
fice so as to use them with the busi- 
ness-area central-office trunks during 
the morning peak hour and then to 
use them again with residential-area 
central-office trunks during the eve- 
ning peak hour. 

This is possible because, in central 
offices serving residential areas, the 
incoming trunks from business-area 
central offices will have a pronounced 
morning peak, when the business lines 
are most active, with much less eve- 
ning traffic; while in the same resi- 
dential-area central offices the incom- 
ing trunks from residential offices in 
the same neighborhood will carry 
their peak loads in the evening — 
with a somewhat smaller volume of 

traffic in the morning. This is prob- 
ably due to a high volume of "neigh- 
bor calling" during the evening, when 
people are usually at home. 

In other words, the opportunity 
exists in certain central offices serv- 
ing residential areas to use incoming 
trunk equipment from business-area 
central offices during the morning 
peak and then to re-use the same 
equipment in the evening by discon- 
tinuing use of the equipment with 
trunks from business-area offices and 
using it with trunks from residen- 
tial-area offices in the same neighbor- 
hood. The dual use of this equip- 
ment, at the morning and evening 
peaks when it is most needed, is ob- 
tained by bridging together (cross- 
connecting) the incoming trunks from 
the business-area and residential-area 
central offices at the residential office 
which they both enter. 

Because the process is as simple as 
it sounds involved, let's illustrate by 
means of an example : 

Assume there are 25 trunks in a 
group from a downtown Manhattan 
business-area central office — say Bar- 
clay-7 — to an uptown residential-area 
central office — say Audubon-3 — both 
offices having panel dial equipment. 

The evening traffic on this trunk 
group being lighter than the morn- 
ing traffic, it is possible to discontinue 
10 of these circuits during the eve- 
ning. The local Audubon-3-to-Audu- 
bon-3 group ^ normally has 70 trunks 
and this group, having an evening 
busy hour, is badly overloaded in the 
evening, but is entirely adequate in 
the morning. We can then use the 
10 trunk equipments not required in 

- Calls within the same panel-dial central 
office are trunked from calling to called line. 


Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Doing Double Duty 



TRUNKS— 1-15 

TRUNKS— 16-25 

TRUNKS— 1-70 





TRUNKS— 71-80 


Certain elements of the inter-office trunking circuits within a central office may be made 
to do double duty by bridging together incoming trunks from central offices having 
different busy-hour peaks. For a fuller explanation of the situation assumed in this 

sketchy see the accompanying text 

the evening from Barclay-7 to Audu- 
bon-3 to increase the local group 
from 70 to 80. 

These 10 trunks from Audubon-3 
and from Barclay-7 would both be 
bridged on the same set of incoming 
trunk equipments at Audubon-3. In 
the morning busy hour, the 10 trunks, 
71 to 80 Audubon-3-to-Audubon-3, 
would be made busy at Audubon by 
means of a key,^ and during that pe- 
riod these trunks would be used only 
in the group from Barclay-7 to Audu- 

In the evening, the busy test would 
be removed from the trunks 71 to 

3 The use of keys for making the trunks busy 
is necessary as so far it appears to be unrea- 
sonably expensive and complicated to equip the 
trunks so that when one is in use in one office 
it would automatically be made busy at a re- 
mote central office. Also in such a case it is 
satisfactory to leave these ten trunks perma- 
nently bridged ; i.e., when one of them is being 
used as a local Audubon-3 trunk, the conductors 
from Barclay-7 will remain bridged on the con- 
nection. The transmission loss resulting from 
these bridged conductors can be tolerated on 
such a local connection. 

80 in the Audubon-3-to-Audubon-3 
group and trunks 1 6 to 25 In the Bar- 
clay-7-to-Audubon-3 group would be 
made busy by a separate key. In this 
way, dual usage of these 10 Incoming 
trunk equipments is obtained by the 
use of additional outgoing trunk 
equipments for the Audubon-3 local 
group and by utilizing certain spare 
make-busy switches which were avail- 
able In both of these buildings. Two 
additional keys have to be provided 
at the Audubon-3 central office, one 
for making the trunks busy in Bar- 
clay-7 In the evening and the other 
for making the trunks busy In Audu- 
bon-3 in the morning. 

This arrangement for the dual use 
of inter-office trunk equipments is in 
effect In New York City (Manhat- 
tan, Bronx, and Brooklyn) to pro- 
vide 255 additional trunk circuits In 
26 different trunk groups. The larg- 
est Increase in any trunk group to 
which this plan was applied was a 
group of 70 circuits in the morning, 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Panel dial selector frames in a Manhattan central office 

which was increased to 92 in the eve- 
ning. In one case where this ar- 
rangement was used, we were experi- 
encing over 3,000 overflows * from 
the local trunk group daily. These 
overflows were of course largely in 
the evening busy hour. After this 
trunk group had been increased in 
the manner just described, the over- 
flows were reduced to the small num- 
ber {2,S) which would normally be 
expected on a group the same size. 
We were thus able to effect a substan- 
tial service improvement in these 21 
offices at a nominal expense and at a 

* Offered calls which could not be completed 
because all inter-office trunks to the called cen- 
tral office were in use. 

time when it otherwise 
would have been impos- 
sible for us to obtain 
equipment promptly for 
providing these extra 

In these oflUces we 
shall continue this ar- 
rangement after normal 
(post-war) conditions 
have been restored, in 
order to obtain the sav- 
ing in inter-office trunk 

As THE SIZE of the city 
increases, there is a de- 
creasing number of di- 
rect trunk groups from 
the business-area central 
offices to the residential- 
area central oflices, and 
a corresponding increase 
in the number of oflices 
reached via the tandem 

A careful study of our 
tandem board situation 
showed that, with the routings as 
they now exist, the equipment at our 
tandem boards from business-area of- 
fices has a peak in the morning and 
the equipment from certain residen- 
tial-area offices has a peak in the eve- 

In a few such cases it was found 
that incoming tandem equipment from 
business offices having a morning busy 
hour could be reduced in number in 
the evening, and this released equip- 
ment was used on trunk groups from 
residential offices having an evening 
busy hour. Traffic routed via a tan- 
dem board is made up of many widely 
diversified types of traffic, and ac- 
cordingly there is a tendency to have 


Inter-Office Trunk Equipment Doing Double Duty 





DIAL "O" trunks: 








Where a DSA switchboard in the busi- 
ness district {as represented by Canal 6) 
has a daytime busy-hour peak and a 
light evening load, while at a DSA board 
in the residential area {as represented 
by Academy 2) the opposite condition 
prevails, certain ''dial zero'' trunks in 
the residential-area office may be pro- 
vided to carry some part of the even- 
ing load to the other DSA board 

the morning and evening peaks 
equalized to some extent. We did, 
however, find 19 offices where we 
were able to add 66 trunks to their 
tandem groups by this same dual-use 
method without any great expense." 


was found to be very helpful in ob- 
taining greater utilization of "DSA" 

5 These cases were handled the same as inter- 
office trunks with one exception. In the case of 
inter-office trunks, the dual-use trunks in each 
group were permanently bridged, the transmis- 
sion loss being unimportant. With tandem 
trunks, transmission is much more important 
and the dual-use trunks were all wired through 
private line test jacks by means of which the 
trunks can be opened up to one of the offices 
when they are being used by the other office. 
The keys for making the trunks busy were used 
exactly the same as for the inter-office trunks. 

positions in both business-area and 
residential-area central offices.® 

The DSA switchboard positions in 
the downtown business-area offices 
were heavily loaded in the morning, 
but there were spare positions in the 
evening, whereas certain residential- 
area offices had substantial peaks in 
their DSA position requirements in 
the evening. In such cases, arrange- 
ments were made so that the "dial 
zero" trunks in the residential-area 
office which normally terminate on 
the local DSA board would, in the 

8 DSA positions, so-called, are manual switch- 
board positions in dial central offices. By dial- 
ing "o" (zero), the customer reaches a DSA 
operator who will assist him in completing a 
local call with which he may be having diffi- 
culty, and will complete certain toll calls. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

evening, be extended from the local 
DSA board to the DSA boards in the 
downtown business-area offices. 

Such an arrangement required very 
little equipment, and provided sub- 
stantial relief to the DSA switch- 
boards in the residential-area offices. 
At one time in Manhattan, traffic 
equivalent to a load for 30 DSA po- 
sitions was being transferred from 
residential-area offices to business- 
area offices in the evening. 

Beating the Equipment Shortage 

The problem of dual use of various 
types of telephone plant in metro- 
politan areas is being given careful 

In the New York City area, the 
problem is complicated by the very 
size of the trunk plant involved. We 
have, however, been able to accom- 
plish substantial results in equipment 

savings by the application of dual use 
of incoming selectors in the dial of- 
fices in metropolitan areas. 

The instances of the dual use of 
facilities — of certain central office 
dial equipment, and of DSA switch- 
boards — here described give an illus- 
tration of some of the things being 
done in the New York City area to 
improve local exchange service. Simi- 
lar arrangements are in effect in other 
cities of this country, and in still 
others are being planned or studied. 

If this is not literally following 
the injunction to make two blades of 
grass grow where but one had grown 
before, at least it is in the direction 
of making some of our equipment do 
about twice as much work as before. 
And that is not only money-saving 
efficiency; it is, in these days of all 
sorts of shortages, one means of giv- 
ing our customers more and better 

Early Telephone Experiment 

A Bell telephone has been put in operation between the office of 
J. Lloyd Haigh, of 81 John street, and his steel works in South 
Brooklyn, where the wire for the great cables of the bridge are being 
made. The wire passes through Buttermilk channel and across the 
East river, and is about five miles long. Conversation is carried on 
with ease, and a kiss, given close to the instrument at one end of the 
route was distinctly heard at the other. 

An exchange thinks that the proposed kissing by telephone must 
be something like starting out for a clam-bake dinner and getting 
nothing but fog. The allusion to a fishing smack in this simile is 

Newspaper items of 1877. 

The A, T. &f T, Vice President in Charge of Public Relations 

Points Out^ in a Ta/k before the Minnesota Employers^ 

Association^ that Businesses Must Be Good Citizens 

Business and People 

Keith S. McHugh 

Whoever first put the two words 
-public relations together hatched up 
quite a bit of trouble, because ever 
since then people have been trying to 
explain what the words mean. 

Each of you probably has his own 
idea ; but I get the most help from 
thinking that public relations means 
simply the kind of relations a busi- 
ness has with people, and what you 
do to try to make them as good as 
you can. 

It's the same for companies as it is 
for individuals — ^you'll be liked more, 
or less, according to the way you act 
and the way you talk. The only dif- 
ference is that a company has more 
chances to make mistakes; and the 
bigger the company, the easier it is 
for people to have their doubts about 

The reasons for this have probably 
already occurred to you, but they may 
bear a few minutes' discussion again. 

If you don't mind one personal 

This is the text of an address to the Minne- 
sota Employers' Association in Minneapolis on 
January 30. 

recollection, I think it will help to 
bring out how the problem gets big- 
ger as the organization increases in 
size. I was raised in a small town 
in Colorado, and as soon as I was 
old enough I used to work after 
school and during vacations. At one 
time or another I worked for quite a 
few different people. But in every 
case, the man I worked for was the 
boss. He didn't have a boss himself 
who reported to someone else who 
had still another boss further up the 

My boss was always president, sec- 
retary, treasurer, general sales man- 
ager, and everything else. He had 
no labor relations except with me 
and maybe a few other people who 
were working for him too. He never 
heard of public relations; but with no 
organization except one or two or 
three hired hands whom he could 
keep an eye on directly, he had the 
full responsibility and at the same 
time the full opportunity to deal face 
to face with every one of his cus- 
tomers, every supplier from whom 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


he bought his merchandise, and every 
other person with whom his business 
had dealings. 

Maybe he didn't do a perfect job, 
but he had every chance personally 
to make the most of every occasion. 
He got to know in a very exact way 
just what his customers liked and 
didn't like, because they kept telling 
him to his face. Also, he learned at 
first hand that what people thought 
of his business depended a lot more 
on what he did than on the way he 
talked, and that he couldn't say one 
thing and do another and get by with 
it for long. 

In short, he was in a position to 
acquire from the ups and downs of 
everyday experience a lively and im- 
mediate sense of the things that pub- 
lic relations vice presidents nowadays 
make speeches about. What's more, 
nobody who came in with a complaint 
ever got lost in the wrong depart- 

Obviously, I'm not going to say that 
a business will have good public re- 
lations just because it is small. But 
the man who is running a small busi- 
ness gets a wonderful head start — if 
he wants to make the most of it — 
from being continuously and directly 
exposed to the experience of having 
to get along with the people who 
make up his particular public. 

He has another advantage too. 
People are not suspicious of him just 
on account of his size. 

It's the most natural thing in the 
world for human beings to be wary 
when anything begins to look too big. 
Primitive people stand in awe of 
mountains. The man who has never 
seen an elephant is inclined to be 
cautious when he first meets one. 

He would be foolish if he weren't. 
In much the same way, the public 
becomes wary as the size of a busi- 
ness increases, and this in itself tends 
to give a big company certain public 
relations problems on top of those 
that it shares with all business. 

Free Bushiess a?id F?'ee Opinion 

The growth of big companies is not 
the only reason why business in gen- 
eral has become thoughtful about 
public relations. We are getting to 
be more aware of what has always 
been true : that in a country like ours, 
where opinion has the freedom that 
we also want for business, the free- 
dom of business is dependent on the 
freedom of opinion. To say this is 
also to say that business will have 
freedom only where opinion has 
power; for if opinion ever loses its 
power, it will be because it is no 
longer free — in which case business 
will be captive also. 

So if business wants freedom, it 
must expect that its limits will be de- 
fined by the public's judgment. It 
seems to me well for any business to 
remember this and take comfort from 
it, particularly when the public takes 
a different view of what it wants 
from what the business thinks it 
ought to want. On these occasions, 
no less than on others, the public is 
the boss and we shall be wise to rec- 
ognize the fact, reflecting the while 
that if the public lost its power over 
us, we would still be the losers any- 
way. I offer this as a consoling 
thought against the day when the 
public, which is moved by emotion as 
well as by reason, in seeking to pro- 
tect its own interest does something 
to injure your capacity to serve it. 


Business and People 


Yet injurious action is, after all, a 
thing we are anxious to avoid. 

What then shall we do? 

The first half of the logic of the 
matter, in the view I have given you, 
is that it is desirable for any business 
to recognize that it ought to depend 
on the public's judgment. 

The second half is that it is de- 
sirable for the public — from its own 
standpoint — to give business the free- 
dom it needs to serve people well. 

If this reasoning is sound, then it 
seems to me that two things follow: 

First, business and the public must 
understand each other; if we are 
going to depend on the public's opin- 
ion, we must give the public enough 
knowledge about us to reach accurate 
conclusions, and we must also obtain 
a fair understanding ourselves as to 
how the public thinks, and what it is 
likely to think about anything we do. 

Second, in addition to obtaining 
understanding, a business must do 
the things the public likes. But no 
business can do this unless it likes 
the public — that is, unless it sincerely 
wants to serve the public well. I 
know I am dealing in the obvious, but 
the obvious is fundamental and can- 
not be ignored. Doing what people 
like every time we have the chance is 
the foundation of good public rela- 
tions and we cannot shut our eyes 
to it. 

Also, since any business knows that 
there are times when it cannot do 
what the public likes, it has all the 
more reason to do everything it can 
whenever it can. 

Size, as I have said, is something of 
a handicap in making yourself liked, 
because of the human tendency — and 
also the ingrained American tradition 

— to be suspicious of size. Further, 
as an organization grows, the mile- 
age within it increases and top man- 
agement is likely to disappear over 
the horizon from the places where 
the public is expressing its moods. 
But these handicaps only mean that 
more must be done to overcome 
them. How to begin? A good be- 
ginning, it seems to me, is not to for- 
get the simple things we would never 
have a chance to forget if each one 
of us — like my old bosses in Colo- 
rado — were the whole works in his 
own enterprise. 

You know as well as I do what 
some of these things are : 

Putting yourself in the customer's 

Telling why you take any particu- 
lar action. 
Giving reasons when you give an- 
Really exerting yourself to meet 

the customers' wishes. 
Meeting the commitments you 

Dealing sympathetically with com- 
Not pushing a customer around 
from one person in the organi- 
zation to another. 
Regarding each person you are 

dealing with as an individual. 
Remembering that employees are 

Being courteous and polite out of 

sincere friendliness. 
Being good citizens and good 
neighbors in the towns where 
you live. 
These are some of them. 

Yet, simple as these things sound, 
for some reason no business can do 
them without continuous, conscious, 
directed effort. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


It takes time, effort, and money to 
put them over and make them really 

It takes preaching and it takes ex- 

And it must start at the top. 

Courtesy is no substitute for effi- 
ciency. But it takes nothing away 
from it, and it can add enormously 
to it. Everybody likes to be treated 
politely and as an individual. More- 
over, people who exercise courtesy 
find that they enjoy it. It is such a 
mighty asset — this thing in human 
nature that makes it possible for a 
business to render service that is 
genuinely friendly. 

A considerate, courteous, friendly 
attitude really can become part of 
a person's nature, inwardly felt as 
well as outwardly expressed. It may 
often need to be taught, but that does 
not mean that it need ever be unreal. 
In our own business we speak of the 
"extra" courtesies that may be ren- 
dered; I think that means extra in 
the sense of possibly going beyond 
the immediate expectation of the cus- 
tomer, but not in the sense of tacking 
on an artificial frill. 

I doubt if any sizable business has 
yet gained — I don't mean just for 
itself, but for employees and cus- 
tomers as well — all the advantages 
that come out of thoughtful and con- 
siderate attention to the particular 
personal problems and needs of indi- 
vidual customers. 

The plain fact is that the "little 
things" are not really little things at 
all. They are tremendous. 

If we allow them to become little, 
that will only be because our per- 
spective on them is not as good as the 

Moreover, they are not little to 
the employee who performs them, 
any more than they are to the per- 
son for whom they are performed. 
The employee wants it realized, and 
it should be made known to him that 
it is realized, that in doing the great 
big little things well he is making the 
most of his job. 

I don't think we can ever afford 
to forget that the more any business 
does to treat everybody it deals with 
as an individual, the more it will in- 
evitably and at the same time be 
treating each employee as an indi- 

There are many reasons for this, 
but consider only one : no employee 
can treat a customer as a real indi- 
vidual unless he knows and under- 
stands the company's policies. He in 
turn must have been treated as an 
individual to have this understanding. 


The establishment of standards, 
and regular measurement against 
them, can contribute to the consider- 
ate and friendly treatment of indi- 
vidual customers, in basically the 
same way that they are used to re- 
duce errors and improve the more 
routine features of over-all perform- 
ance. It is not much harder to know 
whether employees are courteous 
than it is to know whether they come 
to work on time. What is more, the 
men and women who are working at 
a job like to know that performance 
is measured against human and not 
merely mechanical standards. The 
gains that may be accrued from this 
kind of management will be real and 
not artificial. They can become a 
genuine part of the character of the 
organization and the people in it. 


Business and People 


In our business we use the phrase 
"overtones of service" to try to de- 
scribe some of the attributes I have 
been talking about. To the public it 
will make no sense — and I don't see 
how it could — if the individual over- 
tones which a customer may hear in 
the words and actions of an em- 
ployee, and which are encouraged by 
management, are not matched by 
what I might call the "overtones of 
corporate acts" for which the man- 
agement is directly responsible. 

An example will illustrate what I 

A while ago a woman came to one 
of our business offices to pay her bill. 
She explained to the cashier that she 
was a bit late in paying because her 
little girl had been sick and she didn't 
want to leave her alone. However, 
she hadn't wanted to put off paying 
the bill any longer, so she had finally 
decided to leave the house for an 
hour or so and come down to our 

The cashier said she was sorry, 
thanked the customer for the pay- 
ment and for the trouble she had 
gone to, and expressed the hope that 
her daughter would soon be well 
again. Later, after she thought the 
woman had had time to get home, 
the cashier called her to ask whether 
everything was all right. 

I think that was a nice thing to do, 
and I imagine you do too. 

But if you think so, what do you 
suppose our customer thought of it? 
She was quite overwhelmed, and said 
so. She thought the company was 
tops. And her whole picture of us 
was created by one simple, friendly 

When an employee has so effec- 
tively created so favorable an impres- 

sion, it would seem a pity for the 
management to nullify the gain by 
handling some corporate matter in a 
tactless or inconsiderate way. What 
would this customer have thought, 
for example, if she had looked in the 
newspaper after talking with our 
friendly cashier and seen something 
about the telephone company that 
made us seem mulish, thoughtless, 
arrogant, or all three? How could 
she reconcile two such different ideas ? 
Obviously she couldn't. 

Spreadi?ig Knowledge 

Now I would like to say just a little 
about the other side of the relation- 
ship between business and people — 
the spreading of knowledge and un- 

To the man who is running his own 
business, every part of what he is 
doing is mighty important. None of 
the parts get any less important when 
somebody else is doing them for him. 
x^lso, the man who is running his own 
business has all the knowledge about 
it that there is. He may not have 
enough knowledge to make a success 
of it, to be sure ; but everything there 
is, he has. 

That stops being so when he gets 
to be a corporation with a lot of 
employees. The corporation has a 
policy — ^but how much do the em- 
ployees know about it? The em- 
ployees know a lot about what the 
customers and the public think — but 
how much of what they know does 
the corporation know? 

To come anywhere near matching 
the efficiency of a one-man business 
in these respects, there must be ample 
communication, and it must be two- 
way. As a part of it, aside from the 
technical knowledge and training that 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


employees need to perform their par- 
ticular jobs, it seems to me that all 
the men and women in a company 
ought to have at least enough infor- 
mation about the organization, poli- 
cies, objectives, and problems of the 
business to understand the general 
functioning of the organism of which 
they are a part. If the people who 
are in business do not understand 
what it is all about, it is hard to see 
how the public can be expected to 
understand it. 

Giving Out the Facts 

After what a company does, and 
what the employees know and think 
about it, probably next in importance 
in contributing to the public's state of 
mind is what the business says about 

Some companies say very little, I 
imagine pretty much on the theory 
that what they are doing speaks for 

Perhaps so; but I would prefer not 
to take that chance. Our own feel- 
ing as a public service organization is 
something like this : 

The public is our big boss, and 
there is no question whatever that 
public opinion controls our enter- 
prise. It's our job and responsibility 
to give the best telephone service we 
can, and we have pledged ourselves 
to do that. 

We don't believe, however, that 
the public should be left unaware of 
what is entailed in the job entrusted 
to us. We think we ought to tell the 
story candidly, completely, and con- 

Public opinion may sometimes be 
fractious, and sometimes slow in com- 
ing to a fair conclusion; but, given 
the facts, it can be trusted to come up 

eventually with sensible answers. If 
the facts are not known, however, 
you couldn't really blame the average 
American for thinking that we might 
give better telephone service than we 
do if we used bailing wire for cir- 
cuits and charged half the price. 

An important part of our point of 
view is that the public in the first 
place is entitled to know whatever it 
wants to know about us. 

Should we just answer questions, 
then, and stop there? 

Well, no — for the reason that 
while a lot of people are in fact in- 
terested enough to ask us a lot of 
questions, usually the first thought of 
most Americans each morning is not 
to wonder how the telephone com- 
pany is getting along. They're more 
likely to be interested in the weather, 
and where their rubbers are if it's 

To get understanding, it is up to 
us to spread knowledge of the facts 
about the business. This we do out 
of the conviction, and on the basis of 
a great deal of evidence, that more 
public knowledge makes for more 
and better telephone service. 

Keepifig on the Track 

My main reason for mentioning 
some of our own ideas about inform- 
ing the public is to point out that we 
have thought it right to stay on our 
own track with our own story about 
our own business — the only field in 
which we are entitled to be consid- 
ered expert. It seems to me that the 
more this is done by business, the 
better will be the evidence presented 
to the public as a whole and the bet- 
ter informed American public opin- 
ion will be. 

Another thing that seems to me 


Business and People 


important in thinking about public 
opinion and public relations is the 
idea of continuity. 

Winds of opinion are always chang- 
ing, just as a customer can come into 
a store one morning as sweet as pie 
and be back in a fret in an hour. As 
public wishes and views change — as 
they will, for example, with changes 
in economic and social conditions — 
business must constantly face new 
problems and be alert to meet them. 
Yet a business which has developed 
out of experience a sound fundamen- 
tal policy is likely to be better able to 
cope with change than one that has 

Such a policy necessarily is one that 
recognizes the likelihood of change, 
and allows for it. Indeed, it de- 
mands that the business keep chang- 
ing on its own initiative, preferably 
ahead of the public. It asks for con- 
tinuous, objective self-criticism, and 
expects that habits will not be al- 
lowed to harden. 

This kind of policy also contem- 
plates that things which are impor- 
tant in the long run — including the 
things that help toward improving 
public relations — will not be tossed 
overboard to meet the exigencies of 
the moment, will not be jettisoned 
for opportunism. 

Good Citizenship 

Most of what I have been saying has 
been about customers and employees. 
But all the people you have public re- 
lations with aren't customers. Every 
place where you operate or which 
your business touches is full of peo- 
ple who have ideas about you simply 
as citizens, and one of the things they 
get opinions about is what kind of 
citizen you are. 

With every employee a citizen too, 
the character of his citizenship re- 
flects yours, and the community's idea 
of the quality of your citizenship is 
pretty largely conditioned by how it 
regards him. 

This subject has many aspects, but 
I will mention only one. That is the 
question of encouraging local man- 
agement to look on good citizenship 
as a natural part of their job re- 

No community will regard an or- 
ganization as a part of the commu- 
nity unless the organization shows 
that it wants to take its fair part in 
local affairs. The people of the com- 
munity have two bases for judgment : 
first, the company's own behavior as 
a citizen, as made manifest by its 
local representatives; and, second, 
the things which the company's local 
representatives do as individual citi- 
zens themselves. 

Mere location is not enough. It 
is quite possible to be located in 
Blankville for a hundred years and 
still be an outsider; but for the con- 
cern that is really in quest of good 
public relations, to remain an out- 
sider is the last thing in the world 
that it wants. 

Of course, asking local manage- 
ment to make you a good citizen in 
Blankville also means giving local 
management the authority it needs. 
Responsibility must be decentralized 
in fact as well as in theory. The peo- 
ple to whom you give the job of win- 
ning respect and liking for your or- 
ganization as a good citizen cannot 
win such respect if it is apparent that 
they cannot act without approval 
from somebody else two hundred 
miles away. To be sure, there must 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

be continuous communication within 
the organization, but this ought to 
be for the purpose of equipping peo- 
ple to carry out their jobs, not for 
the purpose of preventing them. 

Keeping It Personal 

This idea of good citizenship em- 
braces so many of the things that 
make for good public relations that 
I should like to keep it particularly 
before you in closing. 

Just consider some of the at- 
tributes of the person who most 
quickly comes to your mind as a good 

He's a good neighbor, to begin 
with — friendly, thoughtful of the 
wishes of others, and glad to lend a 
hand whenever he can help. 

He speaks his mind on community 
affairs, but before he does so he tries 
to make sure he knows what he is 
talking about. And he's ready and 
willing, too, to take his share of re- 

He is not a stuffed shirt. 

Nor is he merely sentimental. Af- 
ter all, he wants his neighbors and 
fellow citizens to think well of him. 
He is anxious to enjoy good standing 
in the community. He wants to earn 

— and to keep — a good name and 

The business that is interested in 
staying in business has some of the 
same ambitions. It seems to me that 
a good way to realize them is to exer- 
cise some of the same virtues. No 
doubt you have noticed that thinking 
in these terms helps to make the 
whole subject that I have been talk- 
ing about a personal matter for each 
of us. 

When you think of a citizen you 
think of a person — an individual. 

In the same way, when you think 
of a business being a good citizen you 
have to think of what all the indi- 
vidual people in it — at all levels in 
the organization — are doing to make 
it so. 

To get and keep the kind of repu- 
tation that we call for convenience 
"good public relations," intrinsic 
quality of product and technical 
proficiency of service must assuredly 
come first. But beyond these, the 
things that each of us can do under 
the heading of good citizenship, with 
all that that implies, will largely de- 
termine the kind of relations that any 
business will enjoy with the people 
who are the public. 

It Was a Tough Winter 

It was a tough winter for a large 
part of the Bell System. 

From the Great Plains to the At- 
lantic, beginning last November and 
continuing well into March, storm 
followed storm: little storm or big, 
snow or sleet or even tornado, some 
doing no damage to telephone plant 
and some doing a great deal. 

Take just two of them by way of 

In New York and a section of the 
eastern seaboard, the snowfall which 
began the day after Christmas de- 
posited a greater depth of snow there 
than ever before within the memory 
of living man or the local weather 
bureau. It snarled and practically 
halted transportation for a while, 
and it brought unusual traffic peaks 
to the central offices, but it did little 
real harm telephone-wise. 

Covering a vastly greater area, the 
sleet storm which started on New 
Year's Eve in the Texas Panhandle 
and swept north- and east-ward to 
the Great Lakes and lower New Eng- 
land created more havoc than in 
many a year from that cause. The 
great weight of ice on the wires, in 
places accompanied by strong winds, 
leveled 15,000 poles, put 6,000 toll 
circuits out of order for a time, and 
silenced 125,000 telephones. 

To repair the damage inflicted by 
the season's wintry storms, the West- 

ern Electric Company supplied in a 
hurry such items as 30,000 miles of 
wire in cable, 15,000 miles of other 
wire, and 300,000 pounds of miscel- 
laneous hardware — in addition to 
supplies drawn from regular stock 
piles. The men of the Associated 
Companies and the Long Lines De- 
partment carried out restoration on a 
night-and-day schedule, often in the 
face of rough weather and bitter cold. 

They carried out the restoration 
even while the Bell System's service 
and construction program continued 
forward at driving pace. 

Consider these indicative figures : 

In those five storm-ridden months, 
the Bell System installed more than 
3,000,000 telephones, with a net gain 
— after changes and removals — of 
more than 1,300,000 telephones for 
the period. And during the winter 
months just passed the System han- 
dled an average of 165,500,000 
telephone calls a day — which is 
14,500,000 calls a day more than the 
average for the preceding winter. 

Old Man Winter didn't succeed in 
slowing up seriously the System's ef- 
forts to build and install the equip- 
ment to bring service to the many 
who have been waiting for it and to 
provide for the requirements of the 
coming years. But the pictures on 
the next eight pages show how hard 
he tried. 


This New Hampshire toll line^ 
in the territory of the New Eng- 
land Telephone and Telegraph 
Company^ was temporarily out 
of service 

Snow-shoe weather is unusual 
, in Connecticut^ where the 
-^ Southern New England Tele- 
phone Company operates 


In New Jersey, sleet 
brought down electric 
power wires too, and 
kerosene heaters had to 
be brought into some 
central offices 


The New Jersey Bell Telephoned 
Company's outside plant wasX 
hard hit by the New Years 
Day storm 

Plant employees of the Bell 

Telephone Company of 

Pennsylvania push ahead 

with service restoration 

This open-wire toll line is 
in North Carolina^ in the 
territory of the Southern 
Bell Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company 

Half a tree had to be hauled 
up by winch line before the 
Michigan Bell Telephone 
Company s men could un- 
dertake repairs here 


Lines of the Indiana Bell Telephone Company {above) and the Illinois Bell Telephone 
Company were victims of the New Years sleet 


// was bleak in Iowa as this crew of the Northwe stein Bell ^ Telephone Company went 
about setting a pole here after one of December's storms 

I Two men of the 
[ Southwestei-n Bell 
' Telephone Company 
I tackle wrecked cross- 
i arm and tangled 
I wires on a pole in 
' Arkansas 


The ski-mounted sno-mobile 
on the trailer can carry two 
men over dry snow at 60 
m.p.h. with their repair and 
testing equipment.^ emergency 
rations^ snow shoes^ and other 
winter necessities. It is part 
of the winter preparations oj 
the Mountain States Tele- 
phone and Telegraph Com- 
pany in Wyoming^ whose 
Teton Mountains form the 
back drop for this picture 

The fanuary i sleet storm 
invaded the territory of the 
Bell Telephone Company of 
Canada to fell a pole line on 
the outskirts of Windsor 


This Long Lines Department pole, 
with its glistening burden, typifies 
many another of its fellows from 
Texas to the Atlantic which stood 
firm under such weight of sleet 

Throughout the storm area, the 
Western Electric Company s dis- 
tributing houses were on the alert 
to speed the supplies on which res- 
toration of service depends 


Bell System Inventions Are 
Not Suppressed 

Hubert A. Pattison 

Occasionally the charge is made that the 
Bell System "suppresses" patents. What is 
really meant is that patented inventions 
which have been made or acquired by the 
Bell System are suppressed. 

This charge is false. 

In considering this question, it is impor- 
tant first to distinguish clearly between 
"non-use" and "suppression." They are 
not synonymous. Everyone knows of pat- 
ented inventions that never saw practical 
use; competent authority estimates that 
probably more than half of all patented in- 
ventions are not used commercially. 

Experience in the Bell System in utiliz- 
ing its patented inventions shows that, 
while a high percentage go into its plant, 
there are many others which never find 
their way into such equipment. There are 
good reasons for this. 

The use of all patented inventions is an 
impossibility in any rapidly advancing art 
such as telephony. Inevitably, many are 
ahead of their time and must await the de- 
velopment of related things before they can 
be put into the plant. Others lose out in 
competition with even better inventions 
made by Bell System engineers or by others. 
Still others become obsolete long before 
their term of 17 years expires. To urge or 
imply that these "unused" patented inven- 
tions are "suppressed" is misleading and 

What do we find when we use "suppres- 
sion" correctly? We find a charge which 
makes no sense and which is not true. 

Far from suppressing any inventions, 
natural self-interest requires that the Bell 
System make every effort to put new de- 
velopments to use in the telephone system 
wherever their utilization will result in 
better or cheaper telephone service. 

Sometimes a new device seems simpler 
than it really is, leading the public to 
wonder why it was not available earlier 
and perhaps giving rise to suspicions of 
suppression of inventions. The introduc- 
tion of the hand telephone set, combining 
a transmitter and receiver on a single 
handle, seems to have produced such a re- 

Actually, a great deal more than the 
idea of mounting the transmitter and re- 
ceiver on a common pick-up frame was 
necessary before a satisfactory telephone 
hand set could be produced. Thus it was 
necessary to invent a transmitter unit whose 
performance would not be impaired by 
being used in any position or by being 
picked up and put down repeatedly in ordi- 
nary usage. It was necessary to find some 
practical way to prevent interaction be- 
tween the transmitter and receiver units, 
through the common frame, setting up a 
disagreeable noise or howl which made 
commercial use impossible. The research 

Bell System Inventions Are Not Suppressed. 


required was unusually difficult and took 
a long time; without it the "simple" hand 
telephone was worthless for use in the Bell 

In short, the reason why the hand type 
of telephone set did not go into wide- 
spread use in the Bell System until 1927 
was simply because its development had to 
await several essential inventions and not 
because of any attempt to protect invest- 
ment in earlier types of units. 

There have been other new develop- 
ments in telephone communications equip- 
ment which have been delayed awaiting 
further required research in the thing itself 
or in collateral things which were needed to 
place it in commercial use. And they get 
used if they show promise of better or 
cheaper service. 

The unfounded assertions that new tech- 
nical developments are held back by large 
companies, in spite of the overwhelming 
evidence of technical pioneering by such 
companies, are by no means confined to the 
instance of the Bell System. Although the 
Bell Sj'stem is not informed about the prac- 
tices of other companies to the extent that 
it knows its own operation, published evi- 
dence has come to our notice which shows 
that business in general is also innocent of 
suppression or withholding of patented in- 

The subject has been investigated at pub- 
lic hearings at the instance of Congress 
several times, and the weight of evidence 
has always shown that there is no suppres- 
sion of patented inventions. Indeed, only 
doubtful inference and unsubstantiated ru- 
mors have been offered as contrary evi- 

Thomas A. Edison, the great inventor, 
testifying before a committee of Congress 

in 191 2, said that he did not know of a 
single case of suppression of a useful inven- 

At the hearings held in 1939 by the 
Temporary National Economic Committee, 
Dr. Vannevar Bush of the Carnegie Insti- 
tution, and George E. Baekeland, pioneer 
manufacturer of plastics, made similar 
statements. Mr. Baekeland brought out 
in connection with his statement that the 
American Chemical Society had circular- 
ized its members asking for any instances 
of suppressed patents and that not a single 
example was reported. 

Dr. Frank B: Jewett, President of the 
National Academy of Sciences, said in 


"Personally, during an experience in in- 
dustry of nearly forty years I have never 
known of a single authenticated case where 
a valuable invention was wilfully sup- 
pressed. Nor have I ever known anyone 
who claimed to know of a single such case." 

In addition to making the fullest practi- 
cal use of its inventions in its own op- 
erations, the Bell System also makes its 
patented inventions available to others on 
reasonable terms for a wide variety of pur- 
poses through patent licenses granted to 
other concerns. Such licenses enable the 
licensee to make use of any invention of the 
Bell System in the apparatus licensed, 
whether the Bell System itself uses that 
patented invention or not. The Bell Sys- 
tem's general practices of making its in- 
ventions available to others are well-known 
in the communications industry. 

As a broad statement, therefore, it can 
be said that if a Bell System patented in- 
vention is not being used, it is not only be- 
cause the Bell System itself has no present 
use for it but because no one else has use 
for it either. 

l^he Government' s Inter- Agency Communication Network of 

Manual Switchboard and Tie Ljines Is Now Superseded by a 

More Modern and Efficient Installation 

Washington's New Federal 
Dial Switching System 

George E. Des Jar dins 

Engineer, Public Utilities Division, Bureau of Federal Supply, 
U. S. Treasury Department 

Monday morning, February 2, 
1948, was just another Monday 
morning for many Washingtonians; 
but for thousands of Government 
employees the day had finally ar- 
rived when they would have to 
change some of their telephone 
habits. The old direct tie-line and 
manual interdepartmental systems 
had been discontinued at the close of 
business on Friday, January 30, and 
by Monday morning had been re- 
placed by a single dial system for 
handling inter-agency calls. Over 
the week-end, obsolescence had yielded 
to the engineer and his slide rule, and 
the old had been replaced by the new. 
Our Federal Government in Wash- 
ington and the District of Colum- 
bia's governmental activities are 
served by upwards of 100 separate 
telephone PBXs — private branch ex- 

changes. These range in size from 
small manual or dial PBXs with per- 
haps 10 or 20 telephones to the huge 
installation that served the approxi- 
mately 20,000 War Department tele- 
phones during the latter part of 
World War II. 

These PBXs are of course supple- 
mented by numerous individual lines, 
auxiliary lines, private lines, and the 
like; yet about 98 percent of Govern- 
ment telephone activity is in PBX 

The administration of nearly all 
our Federal Government activity is 
centralized in Washington. As a re- 
sult, there exists a considerable com- 
munity of interest among agencies, 
and calls to and from other agencies 
are an important portion of the traffic 
at pach PBX. This has long been so, 
and, together with the high con- 

JVashington s New Federal Dial Switching System 


The heart of Washington^ D. C. In the center foreground is the Capitol, while all about 
are Government buildings housing agencies which are now enjoying an itnproved tele- 
phone service 

centration of Government agencies 
within a relatively small area of 
downtown Washington (the entire 
area of the District of Columbia is 
only 67 square miles), resulted in the 
establishment about 30 years ago of 
what became known as the Interde- 
partmental switchboard for handling 
calls between departments and agen- 
cies of the Government. This was 
a manual switchboard located in a 
Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone 
Company building and maintained 
and operated by C. & P. personnel. 
The Interdepartmental system may 
be represented as a wheel, with the 
Interdepartmental board as the hub 
and with Interdepartmental lines 
radiating like spokes from that hub 
to the various Government PBXs. 
All large Government PBXs, and 

most of the smaller ones, had such 
lines into that board. 

The operation at the board con- 
sisted of handling calls between those 
Government agencies having lines to 
the board. It was variously referred 
to as the Interdepartmental or Gov- 
ernment board, since it handled calls 
between departments and agencies of 
the Government; or as the "80" 
board, because the operators at that 
switchboard were reached from Gov- 
ernment dial telephones by dialing 

C. & P. revenues from this system 
were on the basis of a monthly charge 
to each agency for its lines into the 
switchboard, plus a charge for each 
call handled. There were no other 
charges, either for operators or for 
switchboard positions. 

As the use of the telephone in- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


creased, in step with the growth of 
Government, the community of inter- 
est between certain pairs of agencies 
increased to the point where it was 
found expedient and economical to 
provide one or more lines to connect 
their PBXs directly. Such lines were 
furnished by the C. & P. at estab- 
lished rates; and if the traffic between 
two agencies was heavy enough and 
the distance not too great, the inter- 
agency service on this basis could be 
more economical than either via the 
Interdepartmental board or via the 
city's regular central-office telephone 

These direct tie-lines came into 
very wide use, particularly between 
the larger agencies, and an extensive 
network of criss-crossing tie-lines was 
built up through the years. This net- 
work was in effect superimposed on, 
and was supplementary to, the Inter- 
departmental line network. The di- 
rect tie-lines served fewer agencies 
than the Interdepartmental lines, but 
at lower cost per call. 

All these considerations necessarily 
affected the engineering of line re- 
quirements as between the two sys- 
tems, and it became the accepted prac- 
tice to provide direct tie-lines to carry 
the base traffic among the heavy-use 
PBXs, while the overflow from those 
lines, and all traffic of the lighter 
users, moved over Interdepartmental 
lines. In fact, at dial PBXs, equip- 
ment was so wired that tie-line over- 
flow automatically moved over Inter- 

This was an excellent and prac- 
tically fool-proof arrangement — in 
theory. But in practice it just did not 
work out, and the inter-agency pic- 
ture resolved itself into two separate 

networks. This not only created cer- 
tain inefficiencies, but the difficulties 
experienced in trying to maintain the 
two networks in economic balance 
were, let us say, numerous and per- 
plexing. The need for a more flex- 
ible arrangement that would combine 
the best features of both had long 
been obvious. 

The principal difficulty experienced 
with the dual system was that hun- 
dreds of calls, particularly from dial 
PBXs, were routed over Interdepart- 
mental lines by dialing the universal 
"80" code into the Interdepartmental 
switchboard, rather than over the di- 
rect and more economical tie-lines 
provided. In spite of repeated in- 
structions to the contrary, Govern- 
ment personnel at the various agen- 
cies, with both tie-lines and Interde- 
partmental available, persisted in 
dialing "80" instead of the specific 
codes for particular tie-line groups, 
even though the Interdepartmental 
routing in every instance interposed 
an additional operator and gave gen- 
erally slower service. 

Another factor militating against 
the proper use of tie-lines was the 
lack of uniformity in assigning tie- 
line codes. For example, of those 
dial PBXs having tie-lines to Treas- 
ury, each one might well have as- 
signed a different code to its Treas- 
ury lines. 

Prelimi7iary Studies Undertaken 

In 1936 the idea of a mechanical 
switching arrangement for handling 
inter-agency calls began to arouse 
interest in the then Procurement Di- 
vision, now the Bureau of Federal 
Supply, of the Treasury Department. 
Several preliminary studies were 
made in the next few years, and by 


Washingtori s New Federal Dial Switching System 


Clifton E. Mack, Director 0/ the Bureau of Federal Supply, inaugurates the new system 
in the presence of fohn T. Kent {standing). District Commercial Manager — Government, 
of the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, and D. A. Kosh, Chief of the 

Public Utilities Division 

1939 plans were under consideration 
to lease such a switching installation 
from the C. & P. Company. By that 
time, actually, an engineering study 
of that installation, including line and 
switch requirements and tentative 
code assignments, and based on the 
then configuration of inter-agency 
traffic, had been completed and was 
under consideration. But unsettled 
world conditions and then World 
War II combined to postpone action 
on the project, at least until the nec- 
essary equipment again was available. 
In July of 1944, when the Public 
Utilities Division was established in 
the then Procurement Division, its 
engineers resumed study of the pos- 
sible economies and efficiency of 

such an arrangement under existing 

The situation in 1944 bore little 
resemblance to the 1939 picture, 

Government telephone growth dur- 
ing the war had been incredible. For 
example, in 1939 a 28-position 
manual PBX with about 3000 sta- 
tions served the combined War and 
Navy activities. By 1944, the War 
Department PBX alone had no po- 
sitions serving 19,300 stations, and 
Navy had its own PBX of 62 po- 
sitions serving about 11,400 stations. 

The picture had so changed, in 
fact, that there was strong sentiment 
— on the part of some people, at any 
rate — in favor of waiting until the 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


war ended and Government activity 
leveled off before undertaking such a 
project. It was ultimately decided, 
however, that more could be gained 
by proceeding immediately than by 
postponing the matter indefinitely, 
and studies continued. 

Old data were obviously worthless, 
and it was necessary for engineers of 
the Public Utilities Division and of 
the C, & P. Company to start from 
scratch, obtain up-to-date traffic data, 
develop a complete new set of re- 
quirements, and design an entirely 
new installation. 

The existence of the huge War 
and Navy PBXs introduced trunking 
and switching considerations that five 
years earlier would have been thought 

The first call over the new system is received by Secretary of 

the Treasury Snyder^ under whose jurisdiction comes the 

Bureau of Federal Supply 

fantastic. Tying such PBXs, and a 
hundred or so others, into a well- 
integrated system wherein any spe- 
cific agency could be reached from a 
telephone in any other agency by 
dialing a particular code, was not a 
simple matter. It raised many ques- 
tions and problems that had to be re- 
solved by the C. & P. and the Public 
Utilities Division. 

By early 1946, studies had pro- 
gressed to the point where it was ob- 
vious that such a system would be not 
only technically feasible but also eco- 
nomically desirable. It was therefore 
thought well to obtain the reaction of 
all Government agencies in Washing- 
ton to the proposal — at least in prin- 
ciple. Inasmuch as the proposed sys- 
tem would replace 
both the existing di- 
rect tie-line and In- 
terdepartmental net- 
works, and therefore 
would require 100 
percent participation 
by Government agen- 
cies, it was felt that 
all should be advised 
of developments. 

A meeting was ar- 
ranged to which all 
agencies were re- 
quested to send rep- 
resentatives. The 
proposal was pre- 
sented to them for 
their consideration 
and representatives 
of the Public Utili- 
ties Division and the 
C. & P. Company 
were on hand to an- 
swer questions. The 
reaction was unani- 
mously favorable, 


Washington's New Federal Dial Switching System 


and resulted in the placing of the 
order for the dial switching system. 

A detailed traffic study of all inter- 
agency traffic as of August 1946 was 
made by the C. & P. Company, and 
served as the basis of the engineer- 
ing, by the A. T. & T. Company and 
the Bell Telephone Laboratories, of 
the switching system. The switching 
equipment for the system, which was 
manufactured by Western Electric, 
is installed on C. & P. premises. 

The equipment is furnished at 
tariff rates. Arrangements have been 
made for the Public Buildings Ad- 
ministration to accept this billing, 
and to pro-rate the charges to par- 
ticipating agencies. It has been pro- 
posed that Public Buildings Adminis- 
tration request a specific appropria- 
tion from Congress to pay these 
charges; if granted, it would obviate 
the allocation of charges to each 
agency. The lines connecting each 
agency with the switching center are 
billed directly to the agency by the 
C. & P. Company in the regular 
monthly bills. 

How the System Works 

The inter-agency dial switching 
system serves 108 PBXs, is designed 
to serve 130, and may be expanded 
if necessary. Of the 130, 70 of the 
more frequently called PBXs may be 
reached through three-digit codes 
running from 130 through 199; 60 
smaller agencies use four-digit codes 
beginning with 12 10 and running 
through 1269. It will be noted that 
all codes begin with "i." This de- 
sirable feature is possible because the 
first level on first selectors at all Gov- 
ernment dial PBXs has not been used 
for PBX station numbers and is 
therefore available for this purpose. 

The August 1946 study disclosed 
that there were 2,269 lines in the di- 
rect tie-line network and, 1,336 lines 
in the old Interdepartmental net- 
work: a total of 3,605 lines. The 
traffic on these networks, according 
to preliminary estimates, was such 
that a single integrated system of 
2,517 lines could carry it. Actually, 
a total of 2,486 lines was on the new 
system at the time of the cutover. 
This number of lines is of course, 
subject to modification as experience 
in actual operation is gained. Reg- 
isters are provided for the various 
switch and line groups that will make 
it possible to keep service — and 
economy — at the optimum. 

The largest single group of lines 
provided, 271, is to the former War 
Department PBX, which now serves 
National Defense. On the other 
hand, a small activity such as the Na- 
tional Mediation Board requires but 
one line. 

In designing the switching arrange- 
ments, it was found desirable to 
break up large groups of lines into 
separate incoming and outgoing 
groups. Generally, if 10 or more 
lines are required to handle a par- 
ticular agency's two-way traffic, it is 
more effective, and it may be just as 
economical, to break them up into 
one-way groups. The difference in 
cost of the tie-line terminal equip- 
ments involved in one-way versus 
two-way operation becomes an im- 
portant factor in the economics un- 
derlying the engineering of large 
groups of lines. 

The actual switching of the sys- 
tem is done with step-by-step equip- 
ment utilizing 2,854 switches. Of 
these, 60 are line finders, 1,520 se- 
lectors, and 1,274 connectors. The 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


relatively few line finders required 
are used only on low-calling-rate two- 
way lines from manual PBXs. The 
great majority of incoming lines are 
one-way and terminate in incoming 

Operation of the equipment in 
handling a call is essentially as fol- 
lows : 

From a dial PBX, the calling party 
at the PBX station picks up his hand 
set, receives the dial tone, and dials 
the code assigned to the particular 
agency he is calling. The operator 
at the called agency answers, and 
connects him to the extension he de- 

From a manual PBX, the desired 
agency's code is not dialed until the 
PBX operator has connected the call- 
ing party's line to one of the lines 
to the switching center. When that 
connection has been made, he receives 
a dial tone, and proceeds as above. 

Advantages of the System 

From the Government's point of 
view, the major advantages to be 
gained from the new system are : 

1. Economy. The new system 
replaces two less efficient systems, 
and the resulting savings are esti- 
mated at about $85,000 per year. 

2. Speed. Actual checks made 
of calls placed at dial PBXs indi- 
cate that a total elapsed time of 
ten seconds or less, from the pick- 
ing up of the hand-set at the call- 
ing station to the actual answering 
by the called party, is not unusual. 

3. Reliability. The system 
should be practically free from op- 
erating interruptions of any kind. 

4. Availability. The system is 
in service 24 hours a day, 7 days a 

week. The old Interdepartmental 
board was regularly on a 7 A.M. 
to 5 :30 P.M. 5-day week schedule, 
with but skeleton coverage at other 

The major advantages to the 
Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone 
Company are : 

1. Utilization. The lines of the 
new system make for much better 
utilization of cable plant than the 
two networks that it replaced. 
Revenue from direct tie-lines is 
based on air-line distance between 
terminals, regardless of the actual 
routing involved. The new sys- 
tem will result in a larger ratio of 
revenue mileage to route mileage, 
since the location of the switching 
center in one of C. & P.'s down- 
town buildings permits tying into 
existing cable very efficiently. 

2. Efficiency. More efficient 
dial operation replaces the old 
manual system. This is in line 
with the present program of dial 

3. Reliability. The C. & P. 
also benefits from the fact that the 
system should be practically free 
from operating interruptions of 
any kind. 

Prehmtnary Arrangements 

Telephone people don't get very 
excited about cut-overs any more. 
Telephone plant growth is so rapid 
that cut-overs are every-day occur- 
rences. This one wasn't quite in that 
category, for two reasons. First, 
this was a unique installation; there 
wasn't another one like it anywhere. 
Second, there was the whole week- 
end, from close of business Friday, 


Washingtoris New Federal Dial Switching System 


Operation of the switching equipment is being explained to a group of Government and 

telephone company officials 

January 30, to opening of business 
Monday, February 2, in which to get 
the job done — an unparalleled luxury 
in cut-overs. 

For weeks before the cut-over, the 
C. & P. Company's Government Dis- 
trict office had hummed with activity, 
for much had to be done in the way 
of education. The program started 
with the service engineers who 
deal with the Government agencies. 
Through them the operating and 
supervisory personnel at Government 
PBXs were informed as to the de- 
tails of operation under the new 

The Bureau of Federal Supply co- 
operated in the educational phase by 
issuing circular letters with instruc- 
tions and pertinent information to all 
agencies. These were directed to the 
"Heads of Departments and Estab- 

lishments," and included, among 
other things, a recommended form 
for an instruction memorandum 
which each agency was requested to 
reproduce for distribution to all its 

Directory information, such as the 
code assignments for the various 
agencies, was made available to such 
of them as desired it for use in re- 
vising their directories. To those 
agencies that did not desire to revise 
their directories at this time, the C. & 
P. Company furnished a supply of a 
specially prepared card form of di- 
rectory, with the code information, 
for distribution to their personnel. 
All this planning, which was very 
effectively coordinated, resulted in a 
well-informed group of prospective 

Interest in the new service ran 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

high and manifested * itself In the 
nearly 100,000 calls placed during 
the first 24 hours. Some of these 
were undoubtedly curiosity calls : a 
healthy thing — within limits — in an 
installation of this kind, and certainly 
to be expected. But it was not ex- 
pected that the volume would be 
maintained at this high level. How- 
ever, the record of calls over the sys- 
tem during the three weeks immedi- 
ately following the cut-over indicates 
a normal business-day average of 
92,400 calls, with a maximum of 
107,400 and a minimum of 87,900. 
This looks a good deal like enthusi- 
astic response of Government per- 
sonnel to the excellence of the service 
being provided. 

This general acceptance of the 
new system is very gratifying to both 
the Government and the Chesapeake 
& Potomac Telephone Company. 
Such reaction as has been voiced is 
also uniformly favorable. Very little 
objection of any kind has been heard, 
and such difficulties as have been ex- 
perienced were of little importance. 

Although the fundamental sound- 

ness of the project was well estab- 
lished as a result of studies under- 
taken by Government engineers, 
smoothness, speed, economy, and ef- 
ficiency of operation which the sys- 
tem exemplifies is believed to be but 
the reflection of the quality of Bell 
System personnel — in the A. T. & T. 
Company, C. & P. Company, Bell 
Laboratories, Western Electric — that 
made it possible. 

The C. & P. Company has been 
most involved, and any attempt to 
mention, by name, all those of the 
C. & P. who shared in this effort 
would be practically a roll call of the 
local group. The entire C. & P. or- 
ganization is to be particularly com- 
mended for its part in bringing an 
idea to life. 

Continued close and harmonious 
cooperation between that organiza- 
tion and the Bureau of Federal Sup- 
ply can only result in the best possible 
telephone service for our Federal 
Government — an objective which the 
Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone 
Company and the Public Utilities Di- 
vision have In common. 

... all business in a democratic country begins with public 
permission and exists by public approval. If that be true, it 
follows that business should be cheerfully willing to tell the 
public what its policies are, what it is doing, and what it hopes 
to do. This seems practically a duty. It is not an easy duty 
to perform, for people who make up the public are generally 
busy about their own affairs and are not particularly prone to 
take time off to hear about the telephone business or any other. 
On the other hand, I think it clear enough that the public 
would very much resent it if a business now took the attitude 
which many used to take, "We'll tell you nothing. It is none 
of your affair." The Bell System endeavors to tell the public 
about its affairs in a number of different ways. 

From "The Bell Telephone System," by Arthur W . Page, Vice 
President, A. T. ^ T. Co. Harper ^ Brothers, publishers, 194 1. 

''Opinion Surveys*' among A, T, &f T, Stockholders Helped 

In the Development of One Document Combining ""Fuir^ 

And ''Fractionary IVarrants and an Order Form 

The Single Warrant: A Step 
Ahead in Corporate Finance 

Frederick A. Wiseman 

In the past 20 years the American 
Telephone and Telegraph Company 
has made four offers to stockholders 
of convertible debentures totaling 
more than one billion dollars. 

These debentures, which are evi- 
dence of corporate debt, are labeled 
"convertible" because under certain 
conditions they may be converted into 
shares of A, T. & T. capital stock — 
which are certificates of ownership of 
the company. Because they carry 
this privilege of conversion, the law 
requires that such debentures must be 
offered first to existing A, T. & T. 
stockholders for purchase. 

The offer to stockholders is made, 
and their right to purchase is repre- 
sented, by warrants which are sent to 
them through the mails. There are 
a great many A. T. & T. stockhold- 
ers: more than 723,000 at the end of 
last year. In connection with all four 
debenture offers, about 3,750,000 
warrants have been issued. 

Warrants, since they are concerned 

with an investment matter, are nec- 
essarily phrased in the rather for- 
mal and — to some people, at any rate 
— unfamiliar language of financial 
transactions. Also, they present to 
each A. T. & T. stockholder the 
necessity of deciding what course, 
among several alternatives, he or 
she should pursue. 

All this has added up, in the past, 
to a vast amount of routine work for 
the A. T. & T. Treasury Depart- 
ment, and to a good bit of confusion 
among many stockholders, making 
things difficult for both parties. 

Last year, with a $357,000,000 
convertible debenture issue * in sight, 
the Treasury Department set out to 
see what could be done to simplify 
the whole transaction. 

This is an account of what was 
achieved in connection with that 
issue, and the way in which it was 
brought about. 

* See "The Biggest Offer Ever," Magazine 
Winter 1947-48. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 




The Single Warrant 


Key to the Situation: 
The JVarratit 

The key to the situation was the 
warrant itself: what it did, what it 
required, what it said, how it said it. 

What the warrant must do, in 
terms of the 1947 debenture issue, 
was to convey to every stockholder 
the right to subscribe for debentures 
in the ratio of $100 of debentures 
for every six shares of stock held. 
For stockholders whose numbers of 
shares were in even multiples of six, 
that was easy: for each multlple-of- 
six shares, the right to subscribe to 
an equal multiple-of-$ioo in deben- 
tures. It was the fractions — the 
holdings of less than six shares, and 
of numbers of shares not evenly 
divisible by six — which complicated 

What the warrant would require 
of every stockholder was, first, a de- 
cision as to what to do about his 
rights to subscribe to the debentures 
and, second, a course of action to 
make that decision effective. De- 
pending on what he wanted to do 
and on the number of shares of stock 
held, a stockholder might decide to 
subscribe to debentures, to sell his 
rights, to buy debentures* and sell ex- 
cess rights, to buy more rights in or- 
der to purchase more debentures, or 
to transfer some or all of his rights 
to somebody else; and then he had 
to instruct the A. T. & T. Company 
to execute his wishes. 

What the warrant must say was, 
of course, in explanation of what was 
required and by way of instruction 
in how to do it. 

How the warrant would say it — 
whether clearly, simply, logically, or 
otherwise — would determine how 

easily the stockholders would under- 
stand the entire transaction and, in 
consequence, carry through correctly 
and with a minimum of error, con- 
fusion, and avoidable correspondence. 

To appreciate how radical was the 
1947 simplification, we must go back 
a couple of decades and look into 
the customary practice. 

And the customary practice had 
long been, we find, for an issue like 
the 1947 offer, to send to each stock- 
holder: i), a "full" warrant, repre- 
senting the right to subscribe to $100 
of debentures for every six shares 
he held; 2), a "fractional" warrant, 
representing his additional but less 
than six A. T. & T. shares and in- 
sufficient in themselves for the pur- 
chase of a $100 debenture; and, 3), 
an order blank instructing the com- 
pany what disposition the stockholder 
chose to make of his full warrant and 
fractional warrant (if any) and of 
his privilege of acquiring the deben- 
tures. All three separate documents 
were mailed to stockholders with a 
covering letter from the president. 

It was customary also to have the 
"fractional" warrant read "1/6 of 
$100 of debentures," "2/6 of $100 
of debentures," and so on up to "5/6 
of $100 of debentures." Great pains 
then had to be taken to explain that 
a subscription could not be made for 
a "fractional" debenture. 

In the 1 94 1 convertible debenture 
offer, this source of confusion was 
eliminated when the "fractional" 
warrant indicated simply the num- 
ber of "rights" it represented. The 
necessary explanation was made, of 
course, that the fractional warrant 
must be combined with another war- 
rant for additional rights when sub- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 



Mu>t B« Comhin<vJ with i Additional Ri(th'? »hen Subscribing 


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American Telephone and Telegraph Company 


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A ig2g ''fractional" warrant. The conventional ''2/6 of $100 of bonds" in the upper 
right corner confused many stockholders and caused much correspondence 

scribing for debentures. This step 
toward clarifying the "fractional" 
warrant has been referred to by 
brokers as perhaps the most impor- 
tant improvement in the form of the 
warrant up to that time. 

The process of clarification was 
continued with the 1946 offer of 
convertible debentures. "Fractional" 
and "full" warrants were used; but 
where a stockholder received both, 
they were attached, and were folded 
back to back to facilitate mailing. 
This had the advantage of keeping 
the two kinds of warrants from be- 
coming separated and perhaps lost; 
but so many stockholders failed to 

unfold and examine the documents, 
and wrote to the company about sup- 
posedly missing "rights," as to neces- 
sitate a printed letter of explanation. 
And "full" warrant, "fractional" 
warrant, and order blank still totaled 
three formal documents to be exe- 
cuted and returned to the company. 

That brings us up to 1947. And 
the 1947 convertible debenture issue 
would be the biggest ever. 

How could the warrant, the key- 
stone to the structure of the stock- 
holder relationship, be further sim- 

Boldly the proposal was made to 


The Single Warrant 


./ ig^i ''fractional" warrant. The wording at the top and the method of showing the 
number of rights are considered to be the most important change prior to 1947 

combine "full" and "fractional" war- 
rants and the customary order form 
in one warrant instead of three sepa- 
rate documents, and to explain in 
simple and informal terms what it 
was all about. 

But it had never been done ! 

Was that of itself any reason why 
it could not or should not be done? 

With more than 700,000 stock- 
holders, should A. T. & T. experi- 
ment — or leave that to some other 
company with relatively few stock- 

Nobody had the answers to those 
basic questions. But we thought we 
knew the way to obtain them. How? 

Well, it's the stockholders who 
would be most affected. So we de- 
cided to ask them. 

Seeking Stockholders' Opinions 

There is in the Chief Statistician's 
Division of the A, T. & T. Company 
a group which is expert in conducting 
opinion surveys — studies of "custo- 
mer attitude." * And many of the 
principles and techniques which apply 
to studies carried out among custo- 
mers can apply equally well to studies 
carried out among stockholders. 

* See "Finding Out What People Think of 
Us," Magazine Spring 1946. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Those specialists were asked to find 
out how stockholders might be ex- 
pected to feel about the new "single" 
warrant. They undertook, on a 
"sampling" basis, to get information 
about the new single warrant on 
these three points : 

1, whether stockholders would 
know how to proceed with it, as- 
suming that they wanted, a), to 
sell all or part of their rights; b), 
to use all or part of their rights to 
subscribe to debentures; or, c), 
to assign all or part of their rights 
to others. 

2, which parts of the warrant 
and the related instructions stock- 
holders would have difficulty in un- 

3, what suggestions for im- 
provements could be obtained. 

First, sample specimens of the 
proposed new warrant were devised 
and, after an almost infinite number 
of revisions, were printed. 

Then, through experimental inter- 
viewing, a series of questions and an 
outline for the interview procedure 
were created. It was found, inci- 
dentally, that each interview would 
consume no less than three-quarters 
of an hour if thorough coverage was 
to be obtained. 

Finally, it was decided to conduct 
extensive interviews with about 200 

But, by the time 100 interviews 
had been completed, it was evident 
that so definite a pattern had been 
set that the results thus far obtained 
could be accepted as reasonably rep- 
resentative of stockholder reaction. 

What was the pattern? 

Briefly, the stockholders favored 
the new form of warrant by seven to 

one. Only seven percent expressed 
no preference. 

But the interviews also made it 
clear that there was room for im- 
provement in the arrangement of the 
single form and the information it 
contained, and in the wording. Some 
stockholders not only had difficulties 
with the financial terms — warrant, 
rights, debenture, and the like — but 
were not sure what was meant by 
such words as void, pending, aggre- 
gate, assign, remittance, and similar 

The interviews also had their 
amusing points. 

One stockholder, of foreign ex- 
traction, when asked what he would 
do if he had 15 rights and wished to 
use 12 rights in subscription and sell 
the other three, responded: "I ask 
the man at the counter." 

The interviewer suggested that he 
might be at home so that it would not 
be convenient to do that. 

The reply was: "I wait until I 
come downtown and then ask the 
man at the counter." 

"Suppose you were ill and would 
not be able to come to the counter?" 

"I send someone to ask the man at 
the counter." 

Another stockholder responded, 
tongue in cheek, to the printed ques- 
tion, "Disposition of warrants?" on 
a form, that his warrants should be 
"kind and gentle." 

Stockholde?' Reactions 

The study emphasized the need 
for further simplification of the war- 
rant, and of the transmittal letter 
mailed to stockholders with the war- 
rants. It showed that improvement 
could also be made in the printing 
style as well as in the arrangement 


The Single Warrant 







r ' 





In ihe/oregrounJ is the Communications Bureau which in I92g handled correspondence 

with stockholders. In relation to the number of stockholders^ the number of cases 

requiring correspondence was more than twice the 1^47 volume 

and location of the printed matter. 
In short, improvement in every phase 
of the warrant and related material 
would help to reduce the stockhold- 
ers' confusion with respect to the ac- 
tion required of them upon receipt of 
their warrants. 

The study of stockholder reactions 
supplemented the knowledge gained 
through past experience about diffi- 
culties stockholders have in grasping 
the significance and purpose, as well 
as the uses which may be made, of 
their warrants. This was of mate- 
rial value in the final determination 
of what form of warrant should be 
used. The next step was to review 
the subject with the lawyers. In- 
stead of complicating the warrant 
form, the lawyers contributed much 
to the further simplification of it. 

As finally corrected and revised, 
the new single warrant presented in 
one piece of paper what had before 
been contained for most stockholders 

in three pieces of paper. (Two war- 
rants, a "fuir and "fractional," and 
an order form for the stockholder to 
use ia giving instructions as to the 
use of his rights.) 

The amount of printed material 
on the new warrant contained fewer 
than half the printed words which 
had before appeared on the three 
pieces. The words used were easier 
for most people to understand, and 
the style of type used was easier to 

The language was as simple and 
understandable as it could be made 
and the left hand portion was given 
over to simple and concise directions 
regarding the value and use of rights. 

The stockholders liked the warrant 
they receiv^ed in 1947, and frequently 
said so. For those who did not ex- 
press their opinion, the record speaks. 
Fewer letters, fewer telephone calls, 
fewer people who had to take the 
time and trouble to come to the office. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


The new single warrant, plus other 
changes and improvements associated 
with it, brought forth marked differ- 
ences in operating results between 
the 1946 and 1947 convertible deben- 
ture issues. 

The 1947 Convertible Debenture 
Issue was $357,532,600 and was 
four percent larger than the 1946 

The number of warrants issued in 
1947 was one-third fewer. 

hnpoj'tant Results 

Cases requiring correspondence or 
telephone communications with the 
stockholders were appreciably fewer. 
Cases where the stockholders came 
to the office because they wanted to 
ask questions and get direct answers 
were 15 percent fewer in 1947. Tele- 
phone inquiries from stockholders 
who needed some explanation of 
their transactions were 28 percent 

There were nearly 6,000 more sub- 
scribers in 1947 and the amount of 
the offer unsubscribed was less than 
in 1946. But the total hours worked 
by the temporary security issue or- 
ganization of 700 people were nine 
percent fewer in 1947. Total over- 
time hours worked by the organiza- 
tion were 60 percent fewer in 1947. 
This all means, of course, that the 
new single warrant and the changes 
associated with it made things easier 
for the stockholders and at the same 
time the company's work of process- 
ing their transactions was less than it 
had been previously. The results, of 
course, also reflect other factors; but 
underlying them all was the new 
form of warrant. 

Stockholders found on their 1947 

warrant mstructions as to its use in 
concise, easy-to-read language. The 
left end of the warrant containing 
these instructions also served another 
practical and useful purpose. As the 
warrants were returned to the com- 
pany with the stockholders' directions 
for subscription, sale of rights, or 
transfer, the left end was cut off, 
stamped with date and reference 
number, and filed. The main sec- 
tion of the warrant then proceeded 
through a series of routine opera- 
tions. By promptly establishing a 
reference file of warrants used in sub- 
scription, sale, or transfer, a major 
problem that had plagued the or- 
ganization in preceding issues was 
practically eliminated. 

This up-to-date file made it pos- 
sible to locate cases in process when 
stockholders anxious to know about 
their transactions wrote or tele- 
phoned. Frequently stockholders will 
make inquiry regarding a transaction 
or ask that it be changed shortly 
after mailing their warrants to the 
company. This had been a diflicult 
problem to cope with in the past be- 
cause of the tens of thousands of 
transactions in process at all times 
during the subscription period. 

The new warrant was an impor- 
tant factor in bringing about the bet- 
ter results in most operations for the 
1947 convertible debenture issue. It 
was not a cure-all, however, in mak- 
ing matters easier for the stockhold- 
ers. One obvious disadvantage of 
the single warrant was the fact that 
when a stockholder wanted to dis- 
pose of excess rights (previously rep- 
resented by a fractional warrant) it 
was necessary to send the warrant 
to the company to be divided into 


The Single Warrant 


two warrants, unless the stockholder 
wished to arrange for the sale of 
the excess rights through the com- 
pany. For a few this proved to be 
an inconvenience. 

The number of cases requiring cor- 
respondence in 1947 was equal to 
about fiv^e percent of the number of 
stockholders. More than 100 em- 
ployees were needed in the Communi- 
cations Division to handle the work. 
'Way back in 1929, before much 
progress had been made in the im- 
provement of warrant forms, there 
was nearly twice the amount of cor- 
respondence in relation to the num- 
ber of stockholders as there was in 
1947. A larger number of em- 
ployees was required in 1929 to han- 
dle the same number of cases. 

The information which the study 
of stockholder reactions made avail- 

able showed that a great deal could 
be done to eliminate sources of con- 
fusion and misunderstanding. There 
is a point, however, beyond which it 
is not possible to go. 

Technical Requirements 

An offer of securities to stockhold- 
ers for subscription must be in ac- 
cord with the Securities Act. If the 
securities are to be listed on an "Ex- 
change," the provisions of the Se- 
curities and Exchange Act also apply. 
The rules and regulations issued by 
the Securities and Exchange Com- 
mission must also be complied with. 

In a broad sense, all must be in ac- 
cord with accepted general corporate 
practice. There can be no violation 
or conflict with laws governing the 
acts of corporations. 

Furthermore, the New York Stock 

Warrants for the ig^i and previous issues were numbered and signcJ sioiultaneously 
on the printing presses after they had been prepared for each stockholder. This provided 
an alphabetical numerical sequence^ whether a stockholder received one warrant or two 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


The machines shown here, regularly used for filling in amounts and signing dividend 
checks, were used on pre-numbered warrants last fall to fill in the number of rights and 

sign them at the same time 

Exchange and other exchanges on 
which A. T. & T. securities are listed 
have rules and regulations designed 
to protect the investing public as well 
as to insure uniform action by the 
membership of the exchange. Any 
issue of securities must conform to 
such regulations and customs. 

There are many considerations in 
the development of a new form of 
warrant. In addition to the effect on 
the company, the stockholders, and 
the agent appointed for the stock- 
holders in the purchase and sale of 
rights, another very important mat- 
ter is the effect on the work of bro- 
kers who handle transactions in the 
purchase and sale of rights or ar- 
range subscriptions for their clients. 
About three-quarters of the stock- 
holders receiving rights for subscrip- 
tion to a convertible debenture issue 
sell the rights to others who use them 
in subscription. Practically all of 
these sales pass through brokerage 

channels. Because of the interest 
brokerage firms would have in any 
change in the form of warrant, a 
series of conferences was arranged in 
the fall of 1947 with representatives 
of the Association of Stock Exchange 

The approach in these conferences 
was the same as it had been with 
respect to the stockholders' inter- 
ests. Basically whatever arrangement 
proved best for the brokers would in 
the long run also be best for the com- 
pany. With this as the starting point 
and holding to the view that the prin- 
cipal objectives were to insure that 
the company's stockholders would 
receive value for their rights and 
that the new issue of debentures 
would be a success, a number of mat- 
ters were concluded of mutual bene- 
fit to the brokers and to the company. 
The principal simplification agreed 
upon with the Association of Stock 


The Single Warrant 


Exchange Firms provided for the 
filing with the company of certain 
forms of agreement of indemnifica- 
tion and for the use, where desired, 
of printed facsimile signatures in 
place of a handwritten oflicial signa- 
ture. While experience has demon- 
strated the need for rigid require- 
ments in the transfer of ownership of 
stock, it is evident that somewhat 
more liberal treatment can be applied 
in the case of rights which are of 
limited value and which expire in a 
relatively short time. 

The arrangements agreed upon 
with the stock exchange firms simpli- 
fied their work tremendously, while 
introducing no adverse factors, and 
met with general approval among 
financial firms. The number of war- 
rants cancelled and re-issued by rea- 
son of transfers in 1947 was down 
75 percent compared with 1946. 

The procedures developed from 
the discussions with the Association 
of Stock Exchange Firms have re- 
cently been adopted by the Gulf Oil 
Company for its new issue of stock 
and have also been adopted by the 
Pacific Gas and Electric Company. 
The latter company also used the 
single warrant form. 

The material distributed to bro- 
kers describing the use of printed fac- 
simile signatures called for illustra- 
tions showing the circumstances and 
conditions under which such signa- 
tures would be accepted. This sug- 
gested the need of a representative 

type of broker's signature. Ordi- 
narily the name John Doe is used as 
an anonymous person. This hardly 
seemed appropriate as the name of 
a brokerage firm because, like law- 
yers, brokers usually have a com- 
posite of many names in their firm. 
In fact, one of the very large broker- 
age firms has such a long name and 
so many partners that it is commonly 
referred to as "We the People." 

In place of John Doe the name 
Richard Roe, Dee Coe & Co., writ- 
ten as shown below, was adopted as 
the illustration of an official signa- 

This illustration of a broker's offi- 
cial signature appears in the mate- 
rial used for both the Gulf Oil Com- 
pany and the Pacific Gas and Elec- 
tric Company issues. Perhaps it may 
become the John Doe of brokerage 

The warrant used by the A. T. & 
T. Company in the 1947 issue repre- 
sented another step in the continuing 
process of improvement. Many im- 
portant changes have been made as 
warrants have been issued from time 
to time over the years and no doubt 
changes will be made in the future. 
This is normal progress, and it is in 
keeping with the constant endeavor 
in the telephone industry to find bet- 
ter ways of doing its job. 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the 
Bell Telephone Quarterly 

Items from Volume II, Number 2, April 1923 

Transatlantic Radio 
Telephone Experiments 

New honors in the field of telephone re- 
search were achieved by Bell System engi- 
neers when, on the night of January 14, 
executives of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company talked from the 
United States to England by radio tele- 

Sitting in his office on the twenty-sixth 
floor of the Telephone and Telegraph 
Building, 195 Broadway, New York, H. B. 
Thayer, president of the company, spoke 
into a telephone words which were carried 
over cables and open telephone wires to 
Rocky Point, L. I., transmitted through 
the ether, and plainly and distinctly heard 
by a group of scientists and newspaper rep- 
resentatives assembled at New Southgate, 
a suburb of London.* 

The Rocky Point sending station is 
owned by the Radio Corporation of Amer- 
ica. The radio apparatus and system used 
was made possible by cooperation between 
this company and the American Telephone 
and Telegraph Company and is the result 
of research and experimental work in the 
laboratories of American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company and the laboratories 
of the Radio Corporation of America and 
its associated companies. 

Transatlantic radio telephony is not new. 
In 19 1 5 Bell System engineers succeeded in 
sending the human voice by radio tele- 
phone from Arlington, Va., to Paris. The 
experiment of January 14, however, dif- 
fered from that of eight years before in 
that it was carried out along lines definitely 
prearranged, the program extending over a 
period of exactly two hours. Whereas, in 

•See '"Hello England': A One-way Trans- 
atlantic Talk," Magazine Winter 1946-47. 

the experiments of 191 5, a few words and 
sentences were intelligible, in the later test 
thousands of words were transmitted and 
received in England so clearly and dis- 
tinctly that the intonations of the speakers 
were recognized by their friends and ac- 
quaintances. . . . 

The transmission of actual messages was 
preceded by several w^eeks of experimenta- 
tion in which isolated words were used for 
test purposes. In the course of these pre- 
liminary tests a mass of data in regard to 
the transmission characteristics of the ether 
was obtained. It is believed that these rec- 
ords will be of considerable value in the re- 
search work being carried on by Bell Sys- 
tem engineers. 

Joint A.LE.E. Meeting 
By Wire and Loud- 
speaker % 

One of the attractions on the program 
of the mid-winter convention of the Ameri- 
can Institute of Electrical Engineers was a 
joint meeting between 1000 members as- 
sembled in New York and 500 members 
assembled in Chicago. The meeting was 
held on the evening of February 14th, 
President F. B. Jewett presiding from New 
York. The two assemblies were united as 
though in a single auditorium through the 
agency of the Western Electric Company's 
public address system associated with the 
long distance telephone lines of the Ameri- 
can Telephone and Telegraph Company, 
in such manner as to give two-way loud- 
speaker operation. By means of this in- 
stallation, papers which were read in New 
York were heard simultaneously by the 
audience in Chicago and papers read in 
Chicago were also heard at New York. . . . 

Twenty-Jive Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 


At each auditorium the only apparatus 
visible was a small but very sensitive trans- 
mitter, which stood on the speaker's desk, 
and a group of small horns suspended 
above, from which the amplified voices 
were emitted. In addition to the visible 
apparatus, powerful vacuum tube ampli- 
fiers were used to magnify the speaker's 
words. Sets of these amplifiers as well as 
the transmitters and horns were located at 
both New York and Chicago. The long 
distance wire telephone circuit joining the 
two audiences carried special equipment so 
as to deliver the speakers' voices at either 
end with a minimum of distortion. 

A special telephone circuit also carried 
the speakers' voices to the radio station 
WEAF in New York, from which they 
were broadcast to many thousands of lis- 
teners who were not in attendance at either 

Second Transcontinental 
Route Planned 

Plans are nearing completion for work 
which will make available a second trans- 
continental route. The construction work 
which it is expected to complete this year 
involves pole line work, wire and equip- 
ment installations from Denver via El 
Paso to Los Angeles. 

Transcontinental telephone service was 
first made available to the public in Janu- 
ar)% 191 5. Prior to that time, two routes, 
both carrjing long haul circuits, had been 
extended as far West as Denver. The (Ex- 
tension of this service to the Pacific Coast 
involved the construction of many miles of 
new pole line, the stringing of four 165 
(No. 8 B.W.G.) wires between Denver 
and San Francisco, extensive rearrange- 
ments of the existing circuits east of 

Denver, and the installation of telephone 
repeaters and associated equipment at suit- 
able points between New York and San 
Francisco. High quality telephone service 
has been furnished over these circuits since 
their completion, various improvements 
having been made from time to time as 
the art advanced. . . . 

After carefully considering all of the 
factors involved, it has been decided that 
the service as a whole can be best safe- 
guarded by providing the additional facili- 
ties now required on a second route, and 
arrangements are under way to make four 
165 gauge wires available from Denver to 
Los Angeles via El Paso. The carrying 
out of this plan will make available two 
separate routes carrying long haul circuits 
from the Pacific Coast to points east of 
Denver, tvvo such routes having been avail- 
able east of Denver since transcontinental 
service was started. As the new route is 
largely through a section of country where 
few severe storms are experienced, a high 
degree of protection to this very important 
service will be furnished. In addition, the 
circuits to be provided on the new route 
will more satisfactorily handle the rapidly 
increasing requirements for through service 
between Los Angeles and other southern 
California points and the East. 

The provision of facilities along this 
route is in line with the plans for perma- 
nent extensions of the trunk lines for 
nation-wide service which contemplated the 
provision of at least three main transconti- 
nental routes with suitable North and 
South tie lines. One of the two new routes 
planned will extend from New Orleans 
and Dallas via El Paso to Los Angeles, 
and the other from Minneapolis via Fargo 
and Billings to Seattle. The work being 
undertaken this year fits in with the plans 
for the Southern Route. 

The Goose That Lays the Golden Egg 

From an order issued January 2g, ig48, by the North Carolina 
Utilities Commission, authorizing a second increase in rates for 
the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company in that 

It must be kept in mind that tele- 
phone service is different from that 
rendered by any other utility in that 
all parts of the country are intercon- 
nected. People in this State talk to 
people in other states; people in other 
states talk to people in this State ; and 
if the service in any state through 
which their conversation is trans- 
mitted is poor, the whole service is 
poor, just as no chain can be stronger 
than its weakest link. 

In North Carolina the expansion 
program for this year calls for the 
expenditure of $15,081,000. This 
fund contemplates the building of 
additions to outside plants, new build- 
ings and land, central office equip- 
ment, pole lines, installation of sta- 
tions, and additional toll circuits. 
Thirty-five thousand applications for 
service were pending on January i, 

The people of North Carolina are 
clamoring for this needed expansion. 

and this Commission is anxious to 
see it carried out, believing that the 
increased facilities would add mil- 
lions of dollars of profits to the busi- 
ness and other interests of North 
Carolina, while the crippling of the 
proposed expansion program would 
no doubt mean the loss of millions of 
dollars to the people of the state. 

In view of the water-logged situa- 
tion presented above, this Commis- 
sion is anxiously willing to cooperate 
with every state involved in any ef- 
fort to provide rates which will as- 
sure the company a fair profit. A 
contrary course, in the opinion of the 
Commission, would be like killing the 
goose that lays the golden egg, for it 
is obvious to even the novice that un- 
less the company is put in a position 
to give good service and provide the 
necessary expansion, the result would 
be disastrous, not only to the com- 
pany but to the public as well. 

Indexes Now Available 

An index to Volume XXVI (1947) of the Bell Telephone 
Magazine may be obtained without charge upon request to 
the Information Department of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company, 195 Broadway, New York 7, N. Y. 

A twenty-five year cumulative index, covering Volumes I 
through XXV of the Bell Telephone Magazine and its 
predecessor, the Bell Telephone Quarterly, may be ob- 
tained without charge, by those maintaining a file of the publi- 
cation, upon request to the same address. 


f«//^c; j:^^\^ V a X -^ «»r jl v mnuf^i a. 'u/u 

Kjurnrnci i u^ 

Exchange Cable i The Drama of Post-war Product mf ^ ^ Aw& 
Charles G. Sinclair, Jr. ^ 

The License Contract • Keith S. McHugh 

The Wires Which Carry the News of the World 
Robert E. Moore 

The Benefit and Pension Plan Is Thirty-Five 
Charles J. Schaefer, Jr. 

Charts at Work • Kenneth W. Haemer 

Ideas, Men, and Things • J 


- ./w-^"**-/.**;^^,* 

mericanlekphoTie S^-^ekmpbCoTrfanV'Newmn 

Bdl TelepKone/w^^ 

Summer 1948 

Exchange Cable: The Drama of Post-war Production, 
Charles G. Sinclair, Jr., 77 

The License Contract, Keith S. McHugh, 88 

The Thirty Millionth Bell Telephone Is Installed in Iowa, 93 

The Wires Which Carry the News of the World, 
Robert E. Moore, 94 

Southern New England and the Telephone, 104 

The Benefit and Pension Plan Is Thirty-Five, 
Charles J. Schaefer, Jr., 105 

Bell System Advertising Wins Award, 113 

Charts at Work, Kenneth W . Haemer, 114 

Twenty-Five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 124 

Ideas, Men, and Things, James O. Perrine, 126 

The Greatest Communication Network in History, 135 

^ Medium of Suggestion ^ a Record of Progress 

Published J or the supervisory forces of the Bell System by the Information Department of 
American Telephone and Telegraph Co., /p5 Broadway^ New York 7, A^. Y. 
Leroy a. Wilson, President; Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, Sec; Donald R. Belcher, Treas. 

Who's Who & What's What 
in This Issue 

Cables of all kinds, old and new, are 
familiar items of telephone plant to 
Charles G. Sinclair, Jr., for his 35 
years in the Bell System have been spent 
entirely in outside plant work. He joined 
the New York Telephone Company in 
19 1 3, and after a period of field work in 
the Plant Department he was assigned to 
outside plant engineering. In 1921 he 
transferred to the outside plant section of 
the Department of Operation and Engi- 
neering of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company. Since February i 
of this year he has been the company's out- 
side plant engineer. 

At present Vice President of the A, T. 
& T. Company in charge of the Informa- 
tion Department, Keith S. McHugh was 
an administrative vice president of the 
company from 1938 to 1946, an assistant 
vice president for four years before that, 
and commercial engineer from 1929 to 
1934. In the ten years after joining the 

A. T. & T. Company in 1919 he had been 
successively an engineer with that com- 
pany, general commercial engineer of the 
Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Com- 
pany at Washington, D. C, general com- 
mercial manager of the Upstate Area of 
the New York Telephone Company, and 
vice president of the company. That is 
the background which enables him to dis- 
cuss the value of the historic "license con- 
tract" arrangement to a telephone system 
which has to serve a continent. Mr. Mc- 
Hugh's "Business and People" was pub- 
lished in last Spring's issue of this Maga- 

Robert E. Moore began his Bell System 
service in St. Louis in 1926, when he was 
employed by the Southwestern Bell Tele- 
phone Company as a commercial repre- 
sentative. In 1927 he was transferred to 
the Long Lines Department of the Ameri- 
can Telephone and Telegraph Company in 
St. Louis, where he served as telephoto- 

Charles G. Sinclair, Jr. 

Keith S. McHugh 

Robert E. Moore 

Who's Who 6? What's What 


Charles J. Schaefer, Jr. 

Kenneth W. Haemer 

James O. Perrine 

graph representative and commercial rep- 
resentative. In 1930 he was appointed di- 
vision commercial manager for Long Lines 
at Cleveland, remaining in this position 
until 1940, when he was moved to his pres- 
ent assignment in New York as Press 
Service Manager for the Long Lines Com- 
mercial Department. 

Joining the Bell Telephone Company 
of Pennsylvania in 19 14, Charles J. 
ScHAEFER, Jr., gained experience in both 
traffic and commercial work before he was 
appointed a special assistant in the Person- 
nel and Public Relations Department there. 
In 1925 he transferred to the Personnel 
Relations Department of the A. T. & T. 
Company, where he is Secretary of the 
Employees' Benefit Committee. His pres- 
ent article is his second discussion of the 
Benefit Plan: ten years ago, in the Bell 
Telephone Quarterly for January, 
1938, was published his contribution on the 
occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the 

Leaving the advertising field in 1926, 
Kenneth W. Haemer joined the Chief 
Statistician's Division of the A. T. & T. 
Company, where he first worked on sta- 
tistical presentation and production. In 
1935 he turned his interest to methods. 

and worked on the development of a gen- 
eral statistical methods file which was pro- 
vided to all Bell System companies. In 
1942 he entered military service in the 
office of the Commanding General, Army 
Service Forces, where he headed the sec- 
tion engaged in developing and installing 
standards for the ASF Reporting System. 
He returned to the A. T. & T. Company 
in 1946, and is now in the general sta- 
tistical analysis section of the Chief Statis- 
tician's Division. Mr. Haemer is Chair- 
man of the American Statistical Associa- 
tion's Committee on Presentation, an editor 
of The American Statistician, and is the 
Telephone Representative on the ASME 
Committee on Graphic Presentation, au- 
thorized by the American Standards As- 

A STUDENT and TEACHER of the physical 
sciences, James O. Perrine had been 
Professor of Electrical Engineering at Yale 
University when, in 1921, he joined the 
former Department of Development and 
Research of the A. T. & T. Company, 
where he engaged in research on the prop- 
erties of materials used in dial telephone 
systems. Since 1925 he has been a mem- 
ber of the company's Information Depart- 

{Continued on page J 12) 

At the distant end of this machine^ installed in the Western Electric Company's Kearny 

fForkSy the new ''alpeth" telephone cable emerges, to be wound on reels and shipped Jor 

urgent service. See the article beginning on the opposite page 


Producing more than Sixty Billion Conductor Feet of Cable 

In IQ4.8^ Much of It a New Type^ Ranks as a Great 

Industrial Achievement of the Present Era 

Exchange Cable: The Drama 
of Post-war Production 

Charles G. Sinclair^ Jr. 

In a conference room at the head- 
quarters of the Bell System in New 
York, a group of men gathered on 
May I, 1946, to discuss a problem in 
exchange cable production and to 
make a decision that would bring 
about its solution. Although the 
meeting was not attended by any pub- 
licity, the decision made that day by 
those men, representing the Bell Tele- 
phone Laboratories, the Western 
Electric Company, and the Opera- 
tion and Engineering Department of 
the American Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company, may well constitute 
a milestone in the history of the tele- 
phone industry. 

During the war, when materials and 
manpower were not available for 
many normal civilian needs, demand 
for telephone service had increased 
enormously. The telephone plant 
facilities which had been provided be- 
fore the war for growth of the busi- 
ness had been largely exhausted, and 
it had been possible to augment them 

only very slightly. As a result, the 
Bell System was confronted after the 
war with the necessity of manufactur- 
ing and installing, at a rate never be- 
fore contemplated, all the units that 
go to make up the plant facilities re- 
quired to give telephone service. 

Central-office equipment and build- 
ings, telephone instruments, cable, 
wire, poles, conduit — just to mention 
a few of the major items involved — 
all had to be obtained in unprece- 
dented quantities and built into plant, 
if the demands of the public for tele- 
phone service were to be satisfied. 
Many of these items required large 
expansion of the Western Electric 
Company's manufacturing capacity 
before they could be fabricated in the 
necessary volume. Arrangements had 
to be made for a continuing flow of 
materials into the manufacturing 
processes, in huge quantities. 

To meet the situation posed by the 
pent-up demand and expanding re- 
quirements of the public for telephone 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Copper wires meet aluminum tape: the thin metal strip is applied longitudinally around 
the paper-wrapped core of telephone wires in the manufacture of alpeth cable 

service called not only for wise plan- 
ning and attention to a thousand de- 
tails in order to create a well coor- 
dinated program, but it called also 
for great courage on the part of man- 

A myriad of obstacles had to be 
overcome. Materials of many kinds 
had to be obtained. Many new em- 
ployees had to be added and trained 
as craftsmen: linemen, cable placing 
gangs, cable splicers, station in- 
stallers. In addition, there was the 
gigantic financial task of raising the 
required capital. Future economic 
trends were uncertain. To resolve, 
in the face of this situation, to pro- 
ceed as rapidly as possible to pro- 
vide telephone plant facilities that 
would enable the Bell System to in- 
stall telephones at a rate more than 

twice that ever previously attained, 
truly required courage of a high 

Among all the kinds of telephone 
plant for which provision had to be 
made, the supply of adequate quanti- 
ties of exchange cable * posed a prob- 
lem that was unique. Study of the 
situation led to the conclusion that 
it would be necessary to produce ex- 
change cable at an annual rate of 
sixty billion (60,000,000,000) con- 
ductor feet. 

Now, sixty billion conductor feet 
of exchange cable is a quantity that is 

*ELxchange cable is cable which is installed 
to provide the local telephone circuits in cities 
and towns and their environs where the num- 
ber of circuits required is too large to be pro- 
vided by open wires carried on pole lines. 



Exchange Cable 


Thermoplastic added: the hot polyethylene is extruded onto the aluminum-covered 
core and the cable then passes into a water tank for cooling 

difl&cult to comprehend. It is, just 
for instance, more exchange cable 
than the total that then existed in the 
plant of the Pacific Telephone and 
Telegraph Company from the Cana- 
dian to the Mexican border; it is — 
since the figure is, after all, of as- 
tronomical proportions — just about 
enough to provide twent}'-four pairs 
of wires spanning from the earth to 
th€ moon. It is almost twice the 
amount of exchange cable produced 
for the Bell System in 1929, the year 
in which the pre-war peak had been 

The Eiquipment Problem 

To REACH an aliriual rate of produc- 
tion of sixty billion conductor feet re- 
quired very large additions to the 
factory space and machinery of the 

Western Electric Company. A great 
deal of flexibility is required in such 
an expansion of manufacturing facili- 
ties, since the sizes of cable required 
from week to week are subject to 
wide variation. 

Cables range in size from the large 
ones containing many hundreds of 
wires, for installation under busy 
city streets, to those carrying a rela- 
tively few wires to be erected on pole 
lines through the countryside to pro- 
vide telephone service to the nation's 
farms. Consequently, whereas the 
sheathing machinery may be the limit- 
ing factor when the average srze of 
cable is small, the insulating and 
twisting machinery, or possibly the 
stranding machines, tend to limit pro- 
duction when the average size is 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


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0^ aw^ away: several turns around the spool in the foreground maintain proper tension 
on the completed alpeth cable J or winding on the shipping reel at the right 

These and other factors were fore- 
seen of course, and equipment was 
added with the expectation that, re- 
gardless of variations in the average 
size of cable that might be required, 
working some of the machinery 24 
hours per day and frequently 7 days 
per week would make possible the 
production of sixty billion conductor 
feet of cable per year. 

In order to produce equipment for 
the armed forces. Western Electric 
Company's Hawthorne cable shop 
had been completely dismantled, and 
the capacity of the Kearny cable shop 
had been greatly reduced. The task 
of reconversion for the production of 
exchange cable involved, therefore, 
the removal of machinery which had 

been installed to manufacture war 
equipment and the return from stor- 
age and re-installation of machines 
for cable production. 

In order to provide for the neces- 
sary increased manufacturing capac- 
ity, 75 percent more space had to be 
obtained. Efficient operation required 
that this additional space be adjacent 
to existing cable manufacturing facili- 
ties. So Western established another 
factory, into which manufacturing 
facilities for other products were 
moved from both the Hawthorne 
and Kearny plants, thus making the 
space available for manufacture of 

To make so much more cable re- 
quired heavy machinery which was 
extremely scarce and hard to get. 



Exchange Cable 


Wire-drawing machinery to make the 
cable conductors had to be increased 
by more than 70 percent ; machinery to 
apply wood-pulp insulation to the con- 
ductors had to be increased by 75 per- 
cent; machines to twist the insulated 
wires into cable pairs required more 
than a 60 percent increase. Other 
machinery, such as stranders, cablers, 
and dryers, had to be increased in 
varying proportions up to 100 per- 

Contacts with suppliers soon shat- 
tered hopes of early completion of 
the expansion program. In many 
cases, even such promises as delivery 
of some of the needed equipment in 
40 to 70 weeks could not be met. 
The entire electrical equipment manu- 
facturing industry, which provides 
the motors and electrical control units 
needed, was overloaded and had a 
huge backlog of orders. Widespread 
strikes in industries furnishing raw 
materials greatly interfered with ob- 
taining such items as steel for chain 
drives, pig iron for castings, and even 
coal to furnish the power needed for 
processing the basic materials. 

Careful investigation indicated, 
however, that the necessary materials 
for manufacturing cable — such as 
copper for wires and wood pulp for 
insulation — although then largely un- 
der government controls, could prob- 
ably be obtained in the requisite quan- 
tities — with the exception of the lead 
for cable sheath. 

Aluminum for Lead 

Lead, and later lead alloys, had 
been the traditional material of which 
telephone cable sheath has been made 
throughout practically the entire his- 
tory of the industry. Its low melting 

point, its ductility, among other quali- 
ties, adapted lead particularly well 
to this use. 

Unfortunately, however, while the 
last quarter century has seen a marked 
increase in demand for lead for the 
manufacture of storage batteries and 
many other purposes, nowhere in the 
world have any substantial additional 
deposits of lead ore been found. 
After checking all the responsible 
sources of information, the conclu- 
sion was inescapable that it would be 
extremely difficult, if not impossible, 
to obtain lead in sufficient quantity to 
provide sheath for the volume of 
cable production contemplated. It 
was this situation that brought that 
group of men together in the con- 
ference room at the Headquarters 
Building on May i, 1946. 

The Bell Telephone Laboratories 
and the Western Electric Company 
had been studying alternative types of 
cable sheath for more than two dec- 
ades. In the five years preceding the 
war, experimental lengths of cable 
having sheaths of material other than 
lead had been made available for 
laboratory tests. The most promis- 
ing of these was a composite sheath 
built up in this order: around the core 
of insulated wires was placed a sheet 
of corrugated steel with a cemented 
longitudinal seam ; this was covered by 
a thermoplastic material; and finally 
came an outer corrugated brass 
sheath having an overlapped longitu- 
dinal seam which was sealed by sol- 
dering. Laboratory trials of this 
sheath had yielded promising indica- 
tions, and it was decided that sheath 
of this general type offered the great- 
est possibility of providing an ade- 
quate outer covering for that part of 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


the cable production for which lead 
would be unavailable. 

In planning to go forward with 
this program, advantage was taken 
of the fact that other materials had 
become; available during the war pe- 
riod which offered some improvement 
over the pre-war experirnental cables. 
Aluminum had become plentiful, and 
it was decided to substitute this ma- 
terial for the corrugated steel placed 
directly over the core of the cable, in 
order to take advantage of the 
greater electrical conductivity of alu- 
minum. This is of value in provid- 
ing shielding for the cable against in- 
ductive disturbances and also added 
protection against lightning damage. 
Also, the possibilities of obtaining 
adequate amounts of sheet steel were 
exceedingly dim, inasmuch as the de- 
mands for this material in industry 
generally far exceeded the visible sup- 
bly. In the pre-war samples, a rub- 
ber thermoplastic material had been 
placed between the two metal shells; 
but now a new material, polyethylene, 
was available. This material is a 
tough plastic having high dielectric 
strength and about 30 times as much 
resistance to water penetration as 

It was this sheath that the group 
meeting on May i, 1946, decided 
should be developed as an alternative 
to the standard lead sheath and 
brought into production as rapidly 
as possible. 

Pressure for Production 

Normally there would be a cautious 
approadi to any major change in de- 
sign and materials for such an im- 
portant and long-lived item as cable. 
There would be laboratory tests of 

a few saniple lengths. If these were 
promising, field laboratory trials 
would then be inaugurated. If these 
also proved successful, a few com- 
mercial installations would follow. 
The behavior of the new material 
would be observed closely over a pe- 
riod of perhaps several years before 
concluding that extensive use of it ap- 
peared advisable. 

These steps might very likely have 
required a five-year period before 
reaching a decision such as that made 
in 1946. In 1946 there wasn't that 
much time. 

In making the decision to proceed 
with a venture of this sort, the proba- 
bility was recognized that changes in 
design or material might prove to be 
necessary as further study of the 
sheath and the facilities needed for 
its manufacture progressed. These 
are the inevitable concomitants of 
treading untried paths. ■ 

Before many months had passed, 
laboratory study had indeed deter- 
mined that changes in design would 
be necessary in order to make the 
outer brass covering suitable. The 
changes found necessary introduced 
difficult manufacturing problems. 
Meanwhile, time was running on 
apace and provision of facilities for 
producing the increased amount of 
cable, except for sheath, were moving 
ahead rapidly. Another decision had 
to be made if we were not to lose pro- 
duction for want of sheath. 

The decision was made. 

It was to make the cable without 
the outer brass shell, relying upon the 
relatively high impermeability of the 
polyethylene material and the barrier 
of the aluminum tape around the 
core to exclude moisture from the 



Exchange Cable 


Same weight: the alpeth 
cable at the left contains 
152 pairs of 22-gauge cop- 
per wire^ as against 5/ 
pairs of the same gauge in 
the lead-sheathed cable at 
the right 

Alpeth cable: from left to 
righty pulp-insulated cop- 
per telephone wires, paper 
'jorapping, corrugated alu- 
minum covering, and outer 
sheath of polyethylene 

cable. This, of course, contemplated 
that the polyethylene would be ex- 
posed to the elements. To forestall 
the disintegration which might other- 
wise result from the exposure of such 
an organic material to sunlight and 
atmosphere, the polyethylene, nor- 
mally milky white in color, was com- 
pounded with carbon black and an 
anti-oxidant, as is commonly done 
with rubber compounds which are to 
be similarly exposed. 

This sheath came to be known as 
"Alpeth," a name coined from the 
key letters of fl/uminum and polyethy- 

If the decision taken in May of 
1946 to proceed without delay to 
manufacture and use brass sheath 
cable was daring, the decision to go 
forward with the alpeth sheath was 
little short of derring-do. Alpeth 

had not been subjected to even the 
limited pre-war tests applied to the 
brass sheath. Reliance was placed 
solely upon laboratory study of the 
polyethylene material. True, this 
laboratory study was exhaustive, com- 
prising exposure to temperature and 
humidity cycles as well as to ultra- 
violet rays. These are what are 
known as "accelerated aging" tests 
and, while an extremely useful tool 
in appraising the characteristics of a 
material intended for outdoor use, 
they are rarely relied upon as a com- 
plete substitute for field trials under 
the conditions of commercial installa- 
tions. But time did not permit trials 
of the usual kind to be made. 

Experimental lengths of the new 
cable were made available early in 
1947 for trial purposes. A wholly 
new splicing technique had to be de- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Training thousands of cable splicers in the technique of making a water-tight enclosure 
comparable to the lead-sleeve wiped joint was a major undertaking 

vised to provide a water-tight enclo- 
sure such as is afforded by the lead 
sleeve and wiped joints used to en- 
close splices in lead-sheathed cable. 
Devising and refining methods of 
splicing represented a major develop- 
ment in itself. Here again, some of 
the newer materials, such as neo- 
prene, were used to ensure a closure 
which would remain water-tight and 
durable despite exposure to sun and 
air. The quick training in the operat- 
ing companies of thousands of cable 
splicers in the new techniques was no 
small achievement. 

Advantages of Alpeth 

As IS USUAL in such an undertaking, 
unforeseen contingencies arose and un- 
expected obstacles were encountered; 
but each was successfully surmounted, 

and in September of 1947 the first 
lengths of cable having the new type 
of sheath came off the production line. 
Since those first lengths were fabri- 
cated, last September, production of 
the new type of sheath has increased 
steadily until now about 30 percent 
of all the exchange cable being manu- 
factured is made with the alpeth 
sheath. As is to be expected in the 
manufacture of an entirely new prod- 
uct, the alpeth sheath has not been 
entirely without faults. These have, 
however, been of relatively rare oc- 
currence and there is every reason to 
suppose that further study and ex- 
perience will point the way to their 
practical elimination. A substantial 
amount of field experience has been 
gained in the installation of the new 
cable, so that we are now in a posi- 
tion to appraise its relative value. 


Exchange Cable 


The new cable has a number of 
characteristics which recommend it. 
The sheath is extremely light, with 
the result that even the largest 
size cables weigh only about half 
as much as lead-covered cables. 
Smaller sized cables are relatively 
even lighter. This of course brings 
savings in freight charges and facili- 
tates handling the cable during in- 
stallation. It also permits aerial 
installation on smaller and lighter 
suspension strand than would be re- 
quired for lead covered cable. 

Advantage is taken of the light 
weight of the cable and the fact that 
the polyethylene has an extremely 
low coefficient of friction by install- 
ing the cable in conduit in longer 
lengths than would be practicable 
with lead covered cable; 
thus the amount of splic- 
ing is reduced. In many 
cases, where splices are 
not required in a man- 
hole for distribution pur- 
poses, successive under- 
ground sections are 
pulled in one length. 
merely bending the cable 
to rack it in the inter- 
mediate manhole, with- 
out splicing it. Where 
splices are necessary, the 
amount of work involved 
is somewhat more than 
in the case of lead-cov- 
ered cable, but it is ex- 
pected that in time fur- 
ther developments should 
substantially eliminate 
this disadvantage. For 
underground use, the 
alpeth sheath has one 
extremely important ad- 
vantage. It is not sus- 

ceptible to corrosion, which is a fre- 
quent cause of failure of lead sheath. 
Finally, the cost of the alpeth sheath 
is appreciably less than that of lead 

All in all, it appears that although 
born as the child of necessity, the 
new type of sheath may well have a 
permanent place in cable manufac- 
ture, even if, in years to come, the 
supply of lead should become suf- 
ficient to provide sheath for the 
amount of cable required to be manu- 

Runaway Demand 

Currently, the Western Electric 
Company is producing exchange cable 
at a rate somewhat above 60 billion 
conductor-feet annually : the goal that 

New materialsy as well as a new technique.^ are required 
for making splices in alpeth cable 


Bell Telephone Magazine 



Reels of exchange cable ready for shipment from the Kearny Works 
of the Western Electric Company 

was set at that meeting on May i, 
1946. It is indeed fortunate that 
this is so; because, as the public de- 
mand for telephones has grown to 
proportions far in excess of expecta- 
tions, the requirements for cable have 
grown apace, so that today exchange 
cable is the most critical element of 
plant in providing facilities for new 

It may be of interest to reflect 
upon why this is so. 

To most readers, the question will 
undoubtedly have occurred as to why 
the program for the production of 
cable, central-office equipment, and 
telephone instruments was not in bal- 
ance. The answer is that it was I 

Sixty billion conductor feet of ex- 
change cable per year wasn't selected 
because of any cryptic significance of 

that number. On the contrary, it 
was expected that this would be suf- 
ficient, within a year or two, to care 
for all the held orders and to pro- 
vide cable plant adequate to meet 
the continuing demand for telephones 
— as then foreseen. But alasl The 
unprecedented demand for service 
could not reasonably have been fore- 
seen. Even bold forecasts, predict- 
ing a considerably greater demand 
than had ever been experienced be- 
fore, were still short of the service 
customers wanted. Plans for the 
manufacture of central-office equip- 
ment and telephone instruments con- 
templated that, in addition to caring 
for growth, the quantities planned 
would also provide for an active pro- 
gram of dial conversions. As the 
unprecedented demand continued, it 


Exchange Cable 


was, of course, possible to deflect the 
central-office equipment and instru- 
ment production originally intended 
for dial conversions to help meet the 
unexpectedly large demand for addi- 
tional telephones and defer dial con- 
versions to the extent necessary. On 
the other hand, in the case of ex- 
change cable production, there was 
no such cushion to absorb the shock 
of the sharply increased demand. 
Exchange cable thus became the bot- 
tleneck in the effort to clear held 

Production at an annual rate above 
60 billion conductor-feet is far from 
an easy task. It calls for carrying on 
certam of the manufacturing opera- 
tions 24 hours a day, frequently 7 
days a week. To obtain the materials 
necessary — the copper, the wood pulp 

for insulation, the lead, the ahiminum, 
the polyethylene, as well as other in- 
gredients — presents a Herculean task 
of supply, which is being met only 
with the utmost difficulty. Within re- 
cent months there have been times 
when the Western Electric Company 
has had to scrape the bottoms of the 
bins hard to keep the machinery in 
operation, so closely has the produc- 
tion program been geared to ultimate 
availability of materials. 

The achievement in so greatly in- 
creasing the volume of cable manu- 
facture, while putting into produc- 
tion an entirely new type of sheath 
and finding the means of successfully 
installing it, rates as one of the great 
industrial accomplishments of the 
post-war era. 





W.E Co. 









Estimated Bell System exchange cable shipments for 1^48 com- 
pared with the expected 1^48 production of certain other items. 
The highest pre-war year is taken as 100 percent for each item 

Central JVork on Common Problems^ to Avoid Duplication 

and Prevent Waste^ Is Assured by the Relationship between 

A, T, &f T. and the Operating Bell System Companies 

The License Contract 

Keith S, McHugh 

The license contract is a contract 
between the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company and each of the 
operating telephone companies of the 
Bell System. Under it, all work 
together to provide a coordinated 
nationwide communication service. 
Each operating company does locally 
the work that can best be done locally, 
and the A. T. & T. Company is re- 
sponsible for work that can best be 
done by a central organization. 

If one single big company were 
providing telephone service every- 
where, it would be natural, and in 
fact essential, for it to have a central 
staff of people carrying on research, 
handling patents and financing, as- 
sisting the local operating areas and 
divisions, and making studies and de- 
veloping methods to the benefit of the 
service in all places where the com- 
pany operated. 

The same functions are equally 
necessary when, as in the Bell System, 
several companies, rather than one 
big single company, have the respon- 
sibility together. 

Having several companies, each 
responsible for providing service in 
its own territory, has been of great 
importance in making it possible for 
the Bell System to give the best tele- 
phone service in the world, for it has 
aided in decentralizing responsibility 
and authority so that local people 
who know local conditions have the 
freedom and ability to act as circum- 
stances require. 

But the centralization of certain 
work has likewise been of the utmost 
value. And since we have several 
companies, instead of one big com- 
pany, assurance that this central 
work will be performed is provided 
by a contract between the A. T. & T. 
Company, which does the work, and 
each of the Bell System operating 

The name "license contract" goes 
back to the early days of the business, 
when local companies were first li- 
censed to use Bell telephones; but for 
years the contract has guaranteed 
that the operating companies will get 
the benefit of important services ren- 


The License Contract 


dered by the parent company, includ- 
ing research, financing, and engineer- 
ing. To reimburse the A. T. & T. 
Company, the operating companies 
pay a percentage — since 1929 it has 
been 1V2 percent — of their operating 
revenues (excluding certain minor 
; items). This is payment for value 
received and for services rendered. 

Each of us knows from his own 
knowledge that both local and cen- 
tralized work are needed to give 
good telephone service. 

It takes telephone people in Mem- 
phis to provide service in Memphis, 
others in Spokane to give service in 
Spokane, and so on in every com- 

And in each operating company 
i headquarters there are people who 
[ work on problems that affect the serv- 
! ice in all the areas where the com- 
pany operates. Their work is part 
[ of the cost of providing service, just 
as the wages of every operator and 
craftsman are part of the total cost. 
The same is true of the central 
group at Bell System headquarters, 
who are working on problems that 
are common to all the companies. 
And just as some of the revenues of 
each operating company must be used 
to pay the cost of work done in its 
own headquarters, so likewise some 
of the revenues of all the companies 
are used to pay the cost of work done 
at System headquarters. 

There are two main reasons for 
centralizing certain functions: 

First, it is economical and efficient 

— it is just plain horse-sense — to do 

central work on common problems 

and make the results available to all 

I concerned. Duplication of effort is 

avoided, waste prevented, progress 

Second, coordination is needed. 
This is particularly important in our 
business, because the very essence of 
telephone service is to interconnect 
people wherever they may be, and the 
over-all quality of the service in one 
place depends on, and contributes to, 
the quality of service in other places. 

What the Operating Companies 
Get under the Contract 

The centralized services ren- 
dered by A. T. & T. under the license 
contract fall into five groups. Let 
us look briefly at each : 

I. Research and Development 

The contract provides that A. T. 
& T. will maintain facilities for 
constant research. The Bell Labo- 
ratories (owned by A. T. & T. 
jointly with the Western Electric 
Company, the System's manufac- 
turing and supply unit) render this 
service. Each step forward in tele- 
phone progress has depended on 
research. Alexander Graham Bell's 
invention was only the first of 
thousands of inventions needed to 
create the telephone system. Start- 
ing from scratch, the Bell Labo- 
ratories, which grew out of Bell's 
original attic workshop, have de- 
veloped switchboards, cables, better 
telephone instruments, modern dial 
apparatus, and a whole vast array 
of devices and systems. Without 
these there could be no telephone 
service as we know it today. 

This great research organiza- 
tion — the largest industrial labora- 
tory in the world — employs a staff 
of outstanding scientists. For each 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


operating company to try to dupli- 
cate it would be not merely waste- 
ful — it would be utterly impossible, 
for there wouldn't be enough com- 
petent scientists to go 'round. 

The cost of research is a major 
item of expense among the license 
contract services. The return in 
value to the operating companies 
and to telephone users, however, 
is tremendous, for research has 
enormously increased the scope and 
quality of Bell telephone service 
and has lowered plant and operat- 
ing costs — below what they would 
otherwise have to be — by hun- 
dreds of millions of dollars. (Just 
to give one example : Sixty years 
years ago the cost of wire in tele- 
phone cable, per pair-mile installed, 
was more that ten times the cost 
per pair-mile in today's 2121-pair 

A. T. & T. pays the cost of Bell 
Laboratories' basic research and 
development work, including the 
acquiring of new fundamental 
knowledge. Western Electric pays 
for development and design work 
specifically related to Western's 
products, and this expense becomes 
part of the total cost of equipment 
that Western makes and sells. For 
example, A. T. & T. would pay for 
developing a new metal alloy which 
might have various uses, and West- 
ern would pay for the design of a 
particular product in which the 
alloy was used. 

2. Operating Advice and Assist- 

The license contract provides 
that the A. T. & T. Company shall 
maintain a staff to give the operat- 
ing companies assistance in all 

phases of telephony. The General 
Departments of the A. T. & T. 
Company comprise this staff. They 
furnish advise and assistance to 
the companies in general engineer- 
ing, plant, traffic, commercial, ac- 
counting, patent, legal, administra- 
tive, personnel, treasury and all 
other matters contributing to the 
efficient and economical conduct of 
the business. 

This staff analyzes experience 
and results in all territories, and 
in consultation with the operating 
companies develops new methods 
which afford the basis for coor- 
dinated improvement of service. 
Such centralized work is essential 
to bring about the orderly, eco- 
nomical introduction of improved 
equipment and more efficient prac- 
tices. It makes it possible readily 
to bring the total System experi- 
ence to bear on any particular op- 
erating problem in a particular 
area. Similarly, it enables all the 
companies to realize gains on a 
broad front by using or adapting 
methods that have been found ad- 
vantageous through localized trial 
and experiment. If there were no 
centralized staff, each company 
would have to duplicate its Work, 
at much higher cost. 

3. Patent Rights 

The A. T. & T. Company owns 
or has rights to use patents cov- 
ering most of the apparatus and 
equipment used to provide tele- 
phone service. 

The operating companies not 
only obtain the right to use these 
inventions and those coming along 
in the future; the contract also 
obliges the A. T. & T. Company to 


The License Contract 


defend the companies and to save 
them from loss from any patent in- 
fringement suits brought against 
them for using recommended ap- 
paratus. These rights and this 
protection are of very great value 
to the operating companies. 

4. Financial Advice and Assist- 

The A. T. & T. Company pro- 
vides financial advice and assist- 
ance to the operating companies, 
including help in securing capital 
funds for service improvement and 
expansion. An important part of 
this is that A. T. & T. obtains 
money from investors and keeps a 
pool of funds available. The op- 
erating companies can borrow 
from this pool on short notice. 
This enables them to keep their 
own cash balance low, get money 
for construction as needed, and re- 
pay it later. The cost of financing 
is kept down — the money is on 
hand when wanted. 

5. Availability of Materials 

The A. T. & T. Company agrees 
to maintain arrangements for the 
manufacture of telephone appara- 
tus and materials under its patent 
rights; the operating companies 
are assured of a dependable source 
of top quality products at reasona- 
ble prices. 

economically perform these services 
for themselves, nor can they obtain 
the rights and services elsewhere. 
The A. T. & T. Company makes no 
profit out of the arrangement; in all 
but one of the last ten years the cost 
to A. T. & T. in rendering the serv- 
ices, excluding any return on capital, 
has been more than the payments 
made by the operating companies. 

Could each company pay its share 
of the actual total cost of the services, 
instead of paying a percentage of 
revenue? In principle, either basis 
could produce satisfactory results, al- 
though experience over the years 
shows that the former method would 
have cost the operating companies 
more. Also, use of a percentage of 
revenues has the practical advantage 
of being simpler. 

When an operating company in- 
creases its rates to customers, pay- 
ment of a percentage of revenues 
means of course that the amount paid 
to A. T. & T. for the license contract 
services is also somewhat increased. 
However, expenses of the A. T. & T. 
Company in rendering the services 
are also going up, for the same rea- 
sons that oblige the operating com- 
panies to increase their rates. In- 
creasing the license contract payments 
proportionately with increased reve- 
nues helps to make the payments come 
closer to meeting the actual cost of 
rendering the services. 

A. T. & T. Makes No Profit from The License Contract Services 
The License Contract Payments Increase Bell System Efficiency 

The payments made to A. T. & T. 
by the operating companies are for 
necessary services and valuable rights. 
The companies cannot efficiently or 

A nation-wide telephone system 
is possible only through coordination ; 
the license contract has provided the 
coordinating link; the improved serv- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

ice and lowered cost that have re- 
sulted through the years have been of 
great benefit to telephone users. 

Unlike a purely investing company, 
which exists simply to invest money, 
and all of whose costs are incurred for 
the benefit of its stockholders alone, 
the A. T. & T. Company incurs its ex- 
penses to improve and make more ef- 
ficient the oj>erations of the telephone 
companies in which it owns stock. 
Like the wages of telephone opera- 
tors, these expenses are necessary and 
advantageous to users; they are a 
worth-while expenditure in the con- 
duct of the business. 

The very ownership of the operat- 
ing companies by A. T. & T. is the 
end result of financing their needs for 
capital to build telephone facilities. 
In the early days, as we have seen, 
local people who were starting tele- 
phone exchanges obtained licenses to 
use Bell telephones. Many of these 
local companies found it hard to raise 
capital to build plant, so the Ameri- 
can Company raised money and ad- 
vanced it to them, taking stock in re- 
turn. Even then, a central source of 
capital was needed to develop local 

as well as long distance telephone 

Out of these beginnings, and out 
of the need for centralized research 
and for standardization of methods 
and apparatus, the Bell System of to- 
day developed. The financing activ- 
ity of A. T. & T., the conduct of 
research, the performance of the 
centralized part of the over-all Bell 
System telephone job, and the main- 
tenance of a corporate organization 
for these purposes, are all essential 
services which cannot be eliminated 
without seriously impairing the ef- 
ficiency of the nation's telephone serv- 
ice. They have been, in fact, of fun- 
damental importance in giving this 
country far more telephone service, 
of better quality and value, than 
exists in the rest of the world. Long 
experience has demonstrated the need 
for both centralization and decen- 
tralization — for doing local work on 
local problems, central work on com- 
mon problems. And the license con- 
tract, which grew out of the original 
licensing of Bell instruments, has con- 
tributed essentially to the unmatched 
progress of the telephone in America. 

The Thirty MilHonth Bell Telephone 
Is Installed in Iowa 

The thirty millionth Bell System tele- 
phone was installed, last June 29, in Mar- 
shalltown, la. It was installed, by the 
Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, 
in the home of Harold Bragg. Mr. Bragg 
is a veteran of World War II and an en- 
gineer for a furnace company in Marshall- 

The implications of the event are sig- 

It took the Bell System more than 45 
years to attain its first ten million tele- 
phones; it took not quite 20 years for the 
second ten million ; it took less than six 
years for the third ten million — of which 
8,200,000 have been added since V-J Day. 
In the last ten years, the number of Bell 
System telephones in service has nearly 
doubled: from 15,460,000 to the present 

Mr. Bragg placed the first call over the 
newly-installed instrument to a brother, 
W. G. Bragg, in Seattle, Washington. 
Mayor Donald E. Taylor of Marshall- 
town followed, and called his mother in 
Brainerd, Minnesota. 

Next came a three-way exchange of 
greetings by long distance. Vice President 
Clifford L. Sampson of the Northwestern 
Bell Telephone Company placed the "con- 
ference" call from the Bragg residence to 
President Leroy A. Wilson of the Ameri- 
can Telephone and Telegraph Company, 
in New York, and to President Russell J. 
Hopley of the Northwestern Company, in 
Omaha. Messrs. Wilson and Hopley wel- 
comed Bragg as a telephone subscriber. 

Today's Bell System plant investment is 
about $8,000,000,000. This is almost 
double what it was 10 years ago. Nearly 
two- thirds of this lO-year gain has been 
made since the war. Similarly, there are 

today about 675,000 Bell System employees, 
or more than twice the total of a decade 
ago. Stockholders of the American Tele- 
phone and Telegraph Company, parent 
company of the System, now total nearly 

The number of telephone conversations 
completed daily in the Bell System now 
exceeds 125,000,000, as compared to 
around 70,000,000 per day ten years ago. 

Today 115,000,000 miles of wire inter- 
connect Bell System telephones. Ten years 
ago there were 83,000,000 miles. 

Harold Bragg makes the first call as 
Installer Thomas Sorensen stands by. 
On the telephone is a metal plate identify- 
ing it as ''The thirty-millionth Bell System 
telephone^ installed in the home of Mr. and 
Mrs. Harold Braggy Marshalltown^ lowa^ 
June 2gj 1948" 

Tke Bell System's Private-Line Services Enable the 

Press Associations to Supply News Quickly and Fully to 

Papers and Broadcasting Stations 

The Wires Which Carry the 
News of the World 

Robert E. Moore 

Behind the news which you read 
in your daily newspaper and hear by 
radio there are complex news-gather- 
ing and news-writing and news-edit- 
ing organizations, in part local and 
in part nation-wide and even inter- 
national. And behind all but the 
local part of the job are Bell System 
services which are at work day and 
night to keep a continuous stream of 
news flowing throughout the United 
States and into Canada and Mexico. 
These services — chiefly "private line" 
facilities of the Long Lines Depart- 
ment — require the use of about 600,- 
000 miles of our circuits, more than 
8,700 teletypewriters, many hundreds 
of switchboards, and vast quantities 
of other equipment. 

Our customers who use all these 
facilities in their specialized task of 
gathering ajid distributing news are 
the press associations, so called : The 
Associated Press, the International 
News Service, the United Press As- 
sociations, and similar organizations. 

Their customers are, in turn, the ap- 
proximately 1,750 daily newspapers 
of general circulation and the ap- 
proximately 1,900 commercial radio 
stations in the United States. There 
are still others to the north and to 
the south of our borders. 

To the people of this country its 
newspapers and radio stations bring 
up-to-the-minute news of every sort: 
not only local news but significant and 
interesting accounts from every cor- 
ner of this land and from many a 
capital and focal point around the 
world. Along with the news come 
on-the-spot photographs of people and 
events of importance or of special 

The American people are among 
the best informed in the world. They 
are also among the most critical of 
the timeliness of the news they get 
and of the form in which it is pre- 
sented to them. 

The operations of the press as- 
sociations may be divided into three 

Wires Which Carry the News of the World 


The main news room in New York of one of the press associations 

broad categories : gathering the news 
and assembling it at central points; 
editing the news and preparing it for 
use; and delivering the news to cus- 
tomers — newspapers and radio sta- 

It is this last function — transpor- 
tation — with which the Bell System 
is so importantly concerned. In 
order to understand the System's 
part, it is going to be necessary to get 
a picture of the whole operation. 
And although there are variations 
among them, the operations of the 
several associations conform in gen- 
eral to the same pattern. That pat- 
tern is of specialization and depart- 
mentalization — of organizations so 
complicated and yet so closely coor- 
dinated as to remind one of assembly- 
line production. 

In just about every city in the na- 
tion — with exceptions to be noted in 
the next breath — are correspondents 
• of the associations. They are experi- 

enced reporters; they know what is 
newsy, timely, of interest; they write 
their stories either on their own ini- 
tiative or on assignment — and send 
them in to the regional bureaus. 

In certain strategic cities — and 
these are the exceptions just referred 
to — there are regional offices or bu- 
reaus having staff reporters who also 
originate stories. And it is to these 
bureaus that the correspondents send 
their stories — stories from abroad as 
well as from domestic correspondents. 

That is a quick look at the first 
operation: gathering and assembling 
the news. 

The editing and rewriting of the 
news and the preparation of special 
features are handled at the several 
bureaus and the main offices of the as- 
sociations. These editorial operations 
are expertly done; the associations 
have specialists in foreign affairs, na- 
tional politics, sports, finance, and 
other topics, who know what the cus- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


tomcrs — newspapers and radio sta- 
tions — want, and can supply it. 

So now the product — news — is all 
assembled and packed and ready for 

For shipment, in almost all cases, 
over Bell System private-line circuits 
which may be thought of as sort of 
an endless belt arrangement for con- 
veying news : with the bureaus adding 
items as the belt moves past them and 
the customers taking off the news as 
it reaches them — although without 
diminishing the supply. 

Let's take a look, then, at the 

The teletypewriter private-line 
networks of the press associations 
usually consist of from two to six na- 

In the center is the editorial department of a 
tion office y where the news is prepared for 

tion-wide main trunk line services 
which interconnect the headquarters 
and main bureau offices with other of- 
fices at intermediate cities. These 
trunk lines are used from i8 to 24 
hours daily to disseminate all general 
news reports. The news stories are 
prepared on teletypewriter machines 
in the form of perforated tape for 
transmission over the private-line net- 
works. This tape is fed into and op- 
erates automatic teletypewriter send- 
ing equipment, which transmits the 
news over the private-line services to 
newspapers and radio stations, where 
it is received simultaneously at all 
points in typewritten page form. 

The headquarters office and the 
bureau offices in the larger cities on 
the trunk lines are equipped to trans- 
mit and receive, although 
the bulk of the transmis- 
sion on these services 
originates in the bureaus 
in New York, Washing- 
ton, Chicago, and San 
Francisco. About 800,- 
000 words of news, for 
example, passes through 
the New York bureau of 
one of the press associa- 
tions each day. 

Regional wires, oper- 
ating eight to 16 hours 
daily, branch out from 
cities where bureau of- 
fices are maintained; and 
here switching arrange- 
ments are provided in 
order to separate and 
permit the transmission 
of news of particular in- 
terest to these areas in 
more condensed form. 
press associa- News originating at an 
transmission outlying pomt on a re- 



fFires Which Carry the News of the World 


gional circuit is sent to a bureau of- 
fice, and if it is other than local in 
character and of sufficient impor- 
tance, it is re-transmitted on the trunk 

As the size or circulation of a news- 
paper governs the quantity of the 
news it requires, it is apparent that 
a newspaper in a small city would be 
unable to handle the entire wordage 
from a main trunk news wire but 
would be covered amply by the con- 
densed report as carried by a regional 
wire. These regional reports contain 
the principal items of national and 
international news together with full 
coverage of news of particular inter- 
est to the citizens of that locality. 

In some cases the main trunk wires 
are "duplexed." Nbr- 
mally a teletypewriter 
wire system operates by 
means of one two-way 
channel, while in duplex 
service it is possible to 
transmit in two direc- 
tions simultaneously, 
thus giving in effect tw^o 
separate services. 

A further develop- 
ment of duplex service is 
the "round robin," which 
is so called because of 
arrangements which pro- 
vide two one-way chan- 
nels, one clockwise and 
the other counter clock- 
wise, on a route which 
covers a number of cities 
and terminates at the 
starting point. This en- 
ables an operator at any 
station on the circuit 
which is equipped for 
sending to transmit copy 

to all the points around the "round- 
robin" and receive an identical copy 
of the material he sent on a receiving 
machine located beside his sending 

One particular advantage of 
"round-robin" duplex service is that 
the operator is immediately aware of 
any circuit trouble; for it follows 
that his received copy, having gone 
around the entire circuit, will reveal 
interruptions on the circuit as well as 
any errors that may have occurred 
during the transmission to the other 
points. Further, in the case of serv- 
ice failure to a point on one channel, 
the arrangement of the "round-robin" 
is such that important news flashes 
can be sent out on the other channel 

These teletypewriters of one of the press associations 
transmit news at the rate of 60 words a minute 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


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-mrjA^s t'ni£? ASSISTS? i£ n,munz to 

^ic •• ^ , MHO C0!-/:'aw«M the 

A^^wj- as received. Such dispatches by the hundreds are pounded out on 
press association teletypewriters in newspaper and radio offices through- 
out the country 

and partial service be given the point 
in trouble. 

Supplemental service is another of- 
fering of considerable value to the 

The general news reports have be- 
come so complicated and the cover- 
age so great that many items of news 
have to be curtailed in order to sup- 
ply a complete report. The result 
is that many newspapers and radio 
stations have demanded more detailed 
news concerning sports, movies, busi- 
ness, politics, social activities and 
other items; and in order to meet 
this demand, special wires are now 
used for the purpose of supplying 
this coverage. 

By means of this supplemental 
teletypewriter service, which may be 
provided for a period of one or more 
hours to any or all of the points al- 
ready receiving service from a pri- 
mary wire, additional or overflow 

traffic may be delivered without loss 
of time. For example, in the handling 
of financial news over press serv- 
ices, as the volume of sales of shares 
mounts the summaries become greater 
and, as the closing hours are reached, 
the reports become so heavy that ad- 
ditional services are needed to de- 
liver the complete report as quickly 
as is possible after its compilation. 

Serving Radio 

Radio stations receive their news 
reports from the press associations 
over both the general news wires and 
special radio news wires. 

From the general news wires, com- 
mentators who present their broad- 
casts in individual style edit the full 
coverage report to suit their particu- 
lar requirements. These commenta- 
tors have large followings and are 
very popular, and their presentations 
are carried by the broadcasting com- 



fVires Which Carry the News of the World 


panics over their network stations. 

Over the special radio news wires 
a "processed" report is sent on a 
regularly scheduled basis, in some 
cases every fifteen minutes, and the 
"copy" is so prepared that the latest 
report includes last minute news as 
well as a resume of previous news. 
This type of report is very popular, 
particularly with small stations, since 
there is no necessity for further edit- 
ing before an announcer gives it over 
the air. 

The war period was responsible 
for a great development in radio 
news broadcasting. Before the war, 
not all radio stations broadcast news, 
and those which did offered only a 
partial coverage. With the great 
volume of war news coming over the 
press wires continuously, an increas- 
ing demand developed for more fre- 
quent radio broadcasts of news. As 
a result, the schedules were stepped 
up, and many stations broadcast news 
reports as often as once an hour — 

with more complete reports every few 
hours. This activity caused a consid- 
erable development of the already 
existing use of private lines for special 
radio news, and was responsible for 
establishment of new teletypewriter 

To illustrate the rapid growth of 
these services: — one network started 
with one station receiving its report, 
and has developed in about seven 
years until it now involves about 
68,000 miles of circuit and more 
than 1,000 radio stations. This 
network is nation-wide, and is pro- 
vided with switches at sectional loca- 
tions so that it may be split into sev- 
eral networks or returned to a single 
operating network as occasion de- 
mands. On these networks the spe- 
cial radio news is sent from press 
association headquarters or from 
bureau ofHce locations to the radio 

A similar development has oc- 
curred because of the increased public 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


interest in sports : the press associa- 
tions have estabhshed special circuits, 
operating lo to 12 hours daily, for 
the sole purpose of disseminating 
sports news in far greater detail than 
would be possible on the general news 
circuits. Although these sports serv- 
ices have been established in their 
present form only since late in 1944, 
they now operate to a large number 
of cities and extend into every section 
of the country. 

On occasions of special news events, 
it is necessary for the press associa- 
tions to supplement their regular 
news service with temporary services, 
either by adding stations close to the 
news source or by establishing a sepa- 
rate service from the news source to 
a main bureau office. 

Some of the more important events 
covered in this manner are the na- 
tional political conventions and the 
national election, primary elections 

A telephotograph operator prepares to 
transmit a photograph by wire 

This telephotograph transmitter is com- 
pact and readily portable 

each year in various states, and the 
baseball world series. 

Other events of a more extended 
nature, such as major and minor 
league baseball pennant races, college 
football and basketball games, usually 
require the rearrangement of exist- 
ing facilities and the addition of ex- 
tra hours of service. 

Morse Still Used 

The change from Morse (i.e., code 
telegraph) to teletypewriter service 
was natural, as the speed and depend- 
ability of the teletypewriter and the 
elimination of translation from tele- 
graph signals to typed copy exactly 
fitted the needs of press associations 
and newspapers. However, Morse 
service still has its place in the press 
field, especially at locations where 
power is not available to operate 
teletypewriter motors and proper 
protection against the weather is not 
provided for the teletypewriter ma- 
chines. Such locations are common 
to baseball parks, football fields, and 


Wires Which Carry the News of the World 


scenes of flood or disaster. Availa- 
bility and portability are also factors 
in favor of Morse equipment. 

Prior to 1925 Morse service was 
predominant in the press private line 
field. Practically all this use has been 
superseded by teletypewriter service, 
although until about five years ago 
it continued to be the most practical 
service arrangement to obtain news 
at temporary locations such as the 
press boxes at football and baseball 
stadia, conventions, and prize fights, 
where the operation of teletype- 
writer service was not feasible. How- 
ever, the press associations have now 
arranged for the use of modified 
sending and receiving teletypewriter 
equipment at improved and protected 
locations so that the play-by-play de- 
velopments of these news events may 
be sent directly into their trunk sys- 

The use of private line telephone 
service by the press associations dur- 
ing their early days was confined 
principally to the use of short-period 
telephone service. This service was 
used extensively during the transi- 
tional period from Morse to teletype- 
writer private line serv- 
ice. It is still used to a ":.": ^-"^^TT^ 
limited degree to de- 
liver a brief news re- 
port to small papers 
which specialize in lo- 
cal news and cannot use 
or afford a general or 
regional news report. 
The service is usually 
from a bureau office 
which operates on the 
main trunk or regional 
teletypewriter system 
and from which reports 
are telephoned to from 

one to three receiving newspapers. 
The service is usually furnished for 
three relatively short periods each 
day, and enables the newspaper to re- 
ceive, edit, and set in type as much of 
the news as possible in advance and 
then receive the latest developments 
just prior to its press time. This type 
of service is being replaced gradually 
by teletypewriter exchange service 
(TWX) and private line teletype- 
writer service. 

Pictures by Wire 

"Pictures by Wire," better known 
to telephone people as telephotograph 
service, is the most exacting and spec- 
tacular Bell System service used in 
the press field. It is being greatly 
expanded, because of the recognition 
of the news value of spot news pic- 
tures and the present-day trend to 
publish a news picture with a brief 
caption which conveys to the readers 
a complete news story and requires no 
further editorial or printed comment. 
News pictures which are trans- 
mitted by wire are handled for news- 
papers throughout the country by 
three large picture agencies which 

Sajel This photograph was transmitted by voire bejore 

being reproduced here. There is no apparent loss of 

clarity and detail 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


f% • • • •• • • • •••• • • • ^ 

• • •• •• • • • • •• * *i 

•• ••• • ••••••• •••• •••• • • • • i 
•• •• •••• • •••••• • • • • • •! 

• • • • • • • •••• •» ••» mm ( 

Perforated tape such as this actuates the press service teletypewriters 

are affiliated with the major press as- 
sociations. Each of these agencies 
operates its own telephotograph net- 
work system, using Bell System serv- 
ices. Their systems utilize channels 
specially adapted for transmission of 
picture material and also full-period 
telephone service — which are chan- 
nels normally provided for ordinary 
telephone service. All of these are 
leased on a contract basis for 24 
hours daily. 

Short-period telephone contract 
services are also used daily on a part- 
time basis, utilizing channels provided 
for ordinary telephone service. By 
means of such services, pictures are 
sent to newspapers whose addition to 
the network services is not justified 
from the expense angle. 

In addition to contract services, 
these agencies are large users of toll 
message telephone service for picture 
transmission. This is used to cover 
special news events which occur in 
cities not on their networks. Such 
picture stories are covered by sending 
photographers with portable trans- 
mitting equipment to the place where 
the picture story occurs; after the 
pictures are obtained, they are trans- 
mitted over toll message telephone 
circuits to the nearest network sta- 
tion and from there sent throughout 
the country. 

The telephotograph network of 
one of the press associations is now 
beginning its 12th year of operation. 
Since it was almost nation-wide from 

the outset, the basic layout has not 
changed to any great extent except 
for the addition of other cities to the 
basic network and the use of the 
service by other newspapers in cities 
already connected to the network. 

With the increasing demand for 
spot news pictures, the trend is to- 
ward the establishment of regional 
or state telephotograph networks. 
This, if continued, will result in a 
coverage for pictures closely paral- 
leling the news coverage networks; 
i.e., with the main trunk line for pic- 
tures of national interest and the re- 
gional or state circuits for pictures of 
local interest. 

Setting Type by Wire 

An interesting use of another Bell 
System service, private-line teletype- 
writer service for teletypej^/f^r op- 
eration, permits one of the large 
weekly news magazines to edit every 
issue in New York and yet print it 
simultaneously in Philadelphia, Chi- 
cago, and Los Angeles. 

Teletypesetter equipment was de- 
veloped to provide for the automatic 
operation of typesetting machines. 
The equipment consists of a perfora- 
tor and a teletypesetter operating 
unit, the latter being attached directly 
to the typesetting machine. The per- 
forator (keyboard) punches code 
combinations corresponding to key- 
board characters into a tape, which, 
when fed into the operating unit in a 
distant printing plant, will automati- 


Wires Which Carry the News of the World 


cally operate a linecasting machine, 
producing the lines of t^^pecast in type 
metal from which pages are printed.* 
News material is received in the 
centralized editorial office from 
branch offices, various press associa- 
1 tions, wire services, staff writers, 
I newspapers and foreign correspond- 
ents. After being edited, the mate- 
Irial is prepared in tape form for 
transmission over a private-line net- 
work to the printing plant. There, 
by means of a reperforator, it is re- 
ceived in the form of perforated tape. 
This tape is then fed into the teletype- 
setter operatmg unit. 

Prior to transmission to the print- 
ing plants, the editorial office pro- 
cures a telet^T^e copy from the tape 
for use in preparing a "dummy" or 
working duplicate of the magazine. 
Changes are made until the entire 
copy is estimated to fit the space pro- 
vided for it. This is done to insure 
perfect transmitted copy, since the 
final tape transmission operates the 
typesetting equipment simultaneously 

I in all three distant printing plants. 
This operation makes possible the 
publication of the complete magazine 
in identical form in three strategi- 
cally located cities for simultaneous, 
economical, nation-wide distribution. 

Press associations and large metro- 
politan newspapers use Bell System 
overseas telephone service for cover- 

* Special teletypewriter equipment was de- 
veloped which uses a six-unit code rather than 
the five-unit code normally employed for tele- 
typewriter service, because of the large number 
of type characters involved in teletypesetter 
i operation, including small letters (lower case) 
as well as capital letters (upper case) and 
figures (upper case) and other operations and 
special combinations of letters peculiar to type- 
casting. It also provides for typing in either 
red or black for the identification of headings, 
foreign characters, and special editorial in- 

age of spot news events occurring in 
cities throughout the world where 
overseas telephone service is now 

In addition to random use of this 
service, our overseas short-period 
telephone contract service is employed 
when it is necessary to transmit large 
volumes of foreign news directly to 
New York after it has been assem- 
bled at a central point. It is then 
telephoned to New York daily during 
the contract periods, where it is re- 
corded, transcribed, edited, and pub- 

Of the country's English-language 
daily newspapers, about 95 percent 
receive their news from one or more 
of the press associations by mearis of 
Bell System private line teletypewriter 
service. At least 90 percent of the 
country's commercial radio stations 
receive news — from 16 to 24 hours 
per day — ^by the same means. 

When it comes to telephotography, 
newspapers representing 75 percent 
of the daily circulation in the country 
receive pictures which have been 
transmitted over Bell System facili- 
ties; and newspapers representing 
about 60 percent of the total daily 
circulation receive pictures from tele- 
photograph equipment located on 
their own premises or in the same 

Such facts make clear the impor- 
tance of the Bell System's part in the 
story which lies behind the news. Its 
importance is, in fact, unique among 
the industries to which the System 
furnishes private-line services. For 
it is by means of these services that 
the press associations both assemble 
the product which they sell and then 
ship it out to their customers. 

On the east balcony of Grand Central 
Terminal in New York City is installed a 
full-scale replica of a colonial New Eng- 
and village called "Main Street, Southern 
New England." Here the New York, 
New Haven and Hartford Railroad has 
H reproduced a white pillared church and 
other buildings such as once stood about a 
village green, together with displays of 
products of modern New England. 

The telephone was invented in Boston. 
The first commercial telephone exchange 
was in New Haven. It was from southern 
New England that the telephone spread 
across the nation and throughout the world. 
Now there stands on the balcony, opposite 
the white church, a telephone display which 
is a cooperative undertaking of four Bell 
System companies serving southern New 
England: New England Telephone and 
Telegraph Co., Southern New England 
Telephone Co., New York Telephone Co., 
and the Long Lines Department of A. T. 
& T. Co. 

Southern New England and 
The Telephone 

The display is a model of the radio relay system which transmits messages between New 
York and Boston. Music is actually broadcast between the miniature towers visible at 
either side of the sign, and can be interrupted by passing a hand between them across the 
radio beam. The sign invites one to pick up a receiver and ''Hear how Bell System's 
Radio Relay transmits telephone conversations and radio and television programs between 
New York and Boston." At the left is an illustration of the first New Haven switch- 
boardy and at the right is one of Bell in Boston 


The Methods of Employee Protection Adopted by the Bell . 

System Companies in I^IJ Have Demonstrated Their Value 

To Hundreds of Thousands of Telephone Workers 

The Benefit and Pension 
Plan Is Thirty-five 

Charles J, Schaefer^ Jr. 

Thirty-five years ago last Janu- 
ary, the Bell System became one of a 
small group of industries which were 
pioneering in the establishment of 
benefit and pension plans for their 
employees. The plan then estab- 
lished by the System was sound and 
reasonable. It was entirely "non- 
contributory" : that is, the entire cost 
was borne by the company. It was a 
balanced plan, designed to provide 
help of several kinds to meet various 

Today, 35 years later, the Bell Sys- 
tem plan is still among the leaders. 
When all the features of the sickness 
disability benefits, the accident disa- 
bility benefits, the death benefits, the 
disability pensions, and the service 
pensions are tallied, they add up to a 
plan which ranks among the very 

There is no yardstick which can 

• This general discussion can be neither com- 
plete not definitive. For a conoprehensive and 
exact statement of the terms and provisions of 
the plan the reader is referred to the pamphlet 
"Plan for Employees' Pensions, Disability Bene- 
fits and Death Benefits." The booklet "Facts 
about the Benefit Plan" gives a simple expla- 

measure the human values involved, 
but a few figures will reveal some sig- 
nificant facts. 

During the first year of the plan's 
operation, the Bell System companies, 
including Western Electric, paid out 
$1,153,128 for all the purposes 
covered by the plan. 

In the 35th year of the plan's op- 
eration, 1947, the amount was $148,- 
820,000. That sum was about 8/4 
percent of the System's payroll. 

During the 35 years ending De- 
cember 31, 1947, the total paid out 
under the plan has been $1,006,755,- 
995. This sum is made up of the fol- 
lowing items : 

Sickness disability benefits .... $207,915,097 
Accident disability benefits .... 26,116,448 

Death benefits 46,140,1 18 

Disabilit}' pensions 9.259,832 

Service pensions disbursed 1913- 
1927, and payments to Pen- 
sion Trust Funds * 1928- 
1947 717,324,500 

♦These were established to accrue currently 
the cost of future service pensions on an actu- 
arial basis. At the end of 1947 the aggregate 
Pension Trust Funds of the 26 Bell System Com- 
panies, including Western Electric and Bell 
Laboratories, stood at $826,475,000. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Before igij 

The Bell System's benefit and pen- 
sion plan went into effect on January 
I, 1 9 13; but it did not spring full- 
blown into being overnight. A great 
deal of research, of planning, of plain 
hard work preceded its adoption. 

At the time when our plan became 
effective there were, in addition to 
certain governmental plans, some pen- 
sion plans in older industries — more 
particularly the railroads. But by 
and large, such plans covered only a 
small proportion of the employees in 
industry. For others, any forms of 
protection, if provided at all, were 
entirely discretionary, and there was 
little assurance or uniformity of treat- 
ment. With increasing industrial ex- 
pansion, however, the need for such 
protective measures for employees 
was becoming more fully recognized. 

Before 19 13, a number of the Eell 
System companies had informal prac- 
tices which provided certain financial 
assistance in connection with disa- 
bility and death and which assisted 
in varying degree those long-service 
employees who, because of age or 
other infirmities, were unable to con- 
tinue on active duty. 

In other instances, some protection 
was provided by mutual-benefit as- 
sociations or through similar em- 
ployee activities — with or without 
company participation. A few of the 
older companies had somewhat uni- 
form practices in effect which pro- 
vided some means of retirement pay 
treatment pending the adoption of 
the Bell System plan, and one com- 
pany had adopted a formal retire- 
ment plan as early as 1906. 

Our plan, as adopted by each of 
the Bell System companies, provided 

uniformly substantial benefit and pen- 
sion protection; and, through inter- 
change agreements, it enabled em- 
ployees to transfer between com- 
panies in the System while continuing 
to enjoy the advantages of the plan. 
This was and has continued to be 
distinctly advantageous to both the 
employees and the companies. 

In the past 35 years, the Bell Sys- 
tem benefit and pension plan has been 
amended on eleven occasions to meet 
changing conditions, and these amend- 
ments have meant a broadening of 
the provisions of the plan, to the ad- 
vantage of employees. 

The effect of the System's benefit 
and pension plan upon employees is 
to cushion the blows of illness, acci- 
dent, old age, disability, death. Its 
economic and administrative justifica- 
tion lies, however, in its ability to 
maintain within an essential public 
service an organization of sustained 
spirit and vitality. Contributing sub- 
stantially to these attributes are the 
features of the plan which provide an 
orderly program of retirement for 
older employees. 

The principles underlying the plan 
are that it be designed to meet ef- 
fectively, for the future as well as the 
present, the needs of the business; 
that it be financially secure; and that 
it balance fairly the particular inter- 
ests of telephone workers, telephone 
users, telephone stockholders. These 
three groups comfM-ise the telephone 
business. If the plan is to continue — 
and to continue to be sound — it must 
recognize that their interests are in- 

All of the plan's benefit and pen- 
sion provisions are important in 
achieving these purposes. 


The Benefit and Pension Plan Is Thirty-five 


The sickness, accident, and death 
benefits — which, like pensions, are 
* provided at company expense — bear 
a fairly constant relationship to wage 
and salary payments, and so they are 
paid out of current expenses as re- 
quired. The terms and provisions of 
these benefits and the provisions of 
the pension plan are summarized on 
the next two pages. 

The Bell System Pension Plan 

This plan is generally accepted by 
pension authorities who are familiar 
with its provisions as an exceptionally 
good and indeed outstanding indus- 
trial plan. It is financially sound, and 
its eligibility provisions treat all em- 
ployees alike on the basis of their 
wages or salaries and the length of 
their Bell System service. 

It is a trusteed plan, for which 
funds are provided on a sound ac- 
tuarial basis so that pensions will be 
available for all employees when they 
retire. The pension bill of the Bell 
System Companies to insure this is 
estimated to be about $125,000,000 
for the year 1948. Accruals as de- 
termined from time to time will be 
required yearly to pay future pen- 
sions when the pension roll will be 
many times its present proportions. 

It is important — it is essential to 
the best interests of every employee 
— that the terms and conditions of 
the plan be maintained in accordance 
with sound pension practices. A pen- 
sion plan is not something which can 
be changed from year to year; pen- 
sion planning is by its nature a long- 
term proposition, and must be so rec- 
ognized if it is to be more than a 
temporary gesture. 

Pension plans cost a lot of money. 
In order to provide essential security 

for the future, there must be reasona- 
ble assurance of meeting the bill in 
the years ahead — in good years and 
bad years. Without such security, a 
pension plan is an unreliable promise. 
If it fails in this respect, resulting 
hardship and distress come upon 
those who looked forward to and re- 
lied upon its benefits, at a time in life 
when they may be unable to offset 
such disaster. 

A good pension plan must be 
thoughtfully conceived, carefully de- 
signed, fairly administered, and 
soundly financed for the long pull. 
Pensions should be provided in rea- 
sonable amounts, but not in amounts 
so great as to make their continuance 
uncertain nor to make the over-all 
cost of the pension plan extravagant 
in the eyes of the public. 

How the Bell System Pension Plan 

In making comparisons between 
pensions provided by the Bell System 
companies and by other companies, 
certain important factors should be 
given due weight. 

Our plan is non-contributory, and 
its payments are provided without 
any direct or indirect cost to em- 
ployees; therefore, in making com- 
parisons with plans to which em- 
ployees contribute, it must be kept in 
mind that a part of the pension un- 
der such plans is purchased by the em- 
ployees' own contributions. On this 
basis it can be shown that the Bell 
System pension compares most favor- 
ably with the part provided solely at 
company expense in these other plans. 

Another point to take into account 
is that while every Bell employee be- 
gins, on the day he or she enters the 
(^Continued on page iio) 

Summary of Benefits and Pensions 

Disability Benefits 

Sickness Disability, including injuries 
not arising in the course of employment 
by the company: 

Benefits begin with 4 weeks' full pay 
and 9 weeks' half pay after 2 years' serv- 
ice and increase at intervals of service 
until they become 52 weeks' full pay 
after 25 years of service. 

Accident Disability, injuries arising in 
the course of employment by the com- 
pany : . . « ■ 

Employee becomes eligible immedi- 
ately upon entering the service. For 
total disability, the benefits are 13 weeks' 
full pay up to 15 years' service; begin- 
ning with 15 years' service and at 5-year 
intervals thereafter the full-pay benefits 
increase by 13 weeks until they are 52 
weeks' full pay after 25 years' service. 
In each instance, following the full-pay 
period, half-pay continues for the dura- 
tion of total disability. 

For partial disability, the benefits 
are icx) percent of loss in earning 
capacity during the scheduled full-pay 
periods and 50 percent of loss in earn- 
ing capacity during the half -pay pe- 
riods. Payments do not extend beyond 
six years. 

Death Benefits 

The underlying purpose of death 
benefits is to continue the income for a 
definite period while dependent relatives 
of deceased employees adjust themselves 
to the changed conditions after earnings 
or pensions cease. Death benefits are 
paid to specified beneficiaries for definite 
periods and under conditions which are 
explained in the booklets already re- 
ferred to. 

Death Benefits, in cases of death re- 
sulting from sickness or accidents not 
arising in the course of employment: 

Maximum benefits begin with 4 
months' wages at 2 years' service, and in- 
crease by I month's wages for each addi- 
tional year of service until they amount 
to I year's wages after 10 years' service. 

Death Benefits, in cases of death re- 
sulting from accidents arising in course 
of employment: 

Employee becomes eligible immediately 
upon entering the service. Maximum 
benefits are 3 years' pay, not exceeding 
$10,000; but if a greater amount could 
have been paid under the above sickness 
death benefit schedule, the maximum is 
increased to such amount. In addition 
— funeral expense not exceeding $250. 


Service Pensions 

Amount of Pensions 

Retirement on service pension is pro- 
vided for employees coming under the 
following classifications : 

Class A — Employees whose age is 60 
years or more (women 55 or more) 
and whose term of employment has 
been 20 years or more. 

Class B — Employees whose age is 55 
to 59 (women 50 to 54) and whose 
term of employment has been 25 
years or more. 

Class C — Employees whose age is less 
than 55 years (women less than 
50) and whose term of employ- 
ment has been 30 years or more. 

Employees in Class A may be retired 
with a service pension at their own re- 
quest or at the discretion of the Benefit 
Committee.* Employees in Classes B 
and C, while not eligible to be retired 
at their own request, may be retired with 
service pensions if their cases are ap- 
proved by the Committee. An em- 
ployee 65 years of age is retired at the 
end of the month in which that age is 

Disability Pensions 

After 15 years of service, employees 
becoming totally disabled by sickness or 
injury outside of employment become 
entitled to disability pensions. After 
expiration of disability benefits, disability 
pension continues as long as the em- 
ployee is prevented by disability from 
resuming active service. Where an em- 
ployee is also eligible for a service pen- 
sion, that is granted instead of the dis- 
ability pension. 

One percent of average annual pay 

for last (or highest) 10 years of service 
multiplied by years of service. Mini- 
mum pension is $50 per month, except 
that it may be less in disability pension 
cases based on less than 20 years of serv- 
ice and in cases of part-time employees. 

When an employee retired on service 
pension becomes entitled to a Social Se- 
curity Primary Insurance Benefit based 
solely on Bell System employment, the 
service pension otherwise payable under 
the plan, is reduced by one-half of 
amount of Primary Insurance Benefit 
attributable to Bell System employment 
and wages — the part which results from 
the company's direct tax contributions. 

Pension Funds 
Service pensions are paid from the 
pension trust funds, which are irrevo- 
cably devoted to service pension purpose 
only; they are not, and cannot become, 
a part of the assets of any of the com- 

Supplementary Assistance 
Benefits outside the plan may be paid 
as supplementary assistance in excep- 
tional cases where there is a need. This 
provides a degree of flexibility for the 
proper administration of individual cases 
when additional relief is required be- 
yond that which can be covered under 
reasonable uniform schedules having 
general application. 

*A Benefit Committee comprised of five 
members is appointed by the Board of Direc- 
tors in each of the Bell System companies to 
administer its Plan. Each of the major de- 
partments of a company is usually repre- 
sented on its Committee. 



Bell Telephone Magazine 


business, to acquire credited service 
for eligibility to the advantages of 
the pension plan, many other plans 
limit employee participation in terms 
of age, of earnings, of length of 

A number of plans require, for in- 
stance, that employees be 25, 30, or 
even 40 years old before they can re- 
ceive pension credits or participate 
in the pension plan. According to a 
recent analysis by the Bankers Trust 
Company, the most common age re- 
quirement is 30 years. If this were 
done in computing Bell System pen- 
sions, it would reduce most of them 
by very substantial amounts. 

Another requirement of some pen- 
sion plans is a certain period of serv- 
ice — usually from one to five years — 
before an employee may participate 
in the pension plan. This practice, 
too, if applied to Bell System pen- 
sions, would reduce them substan- 
tially. If, for example, five years of 
service were required before an em- 
ployee began to receive pension 
credits, the amount of the service 
pension would be reduced, on the 
average, by about 15 percent. 

Some pension plans compute pen- 
sions differently for employees in dif- 
ferent wage or salary groups. In the 
Bell System, all pensions are figured 
on exactly the same basis for every- 

Another common practice in pen- 
sion plans is to "discount" pensions 
granted ahead of the normal retire- 
ment age. In these plans, the normal 
retirement age is usually 65 ; and for 
each year of retirement before 65, 
the pension as computed by the regu- 
lar formula is discounted — that is, 
reduced — ^by about Msth. On the 
average, Bell System men retire at 

age 62 years and women at 58. If 
the discount feature common to most 
plans were applied to our pensions, 
men's pensions in the average case 
would be reduced by about 20 per- 
cent and women's pensions by almost 
50 percent. 

The Pension Plan and Social Security 

Although it is customary in the great 
majority of industrial plans to make 
adjustments in pensions, directly or 
indirectly, because of Social Security 
benefits, this common practice has 
been subject to considerable misun- 
derstanding. Many incorrect and 
misleading statements regarding such: 
coordination of company pensions 
with the contributory governmental 
benefits have been made. In view of 
the questions which sometimes arise, 
it may be of interest to review briefly 
the underlying principles regarding 
the practice as it applies to the Bell 
System plan. 

When this plan was established, 
thirty-five years ago, it was provided 
that, if a governmental agency should 
establish the payment of pensions, 
the full amount of such pensions 
would be deducted from the pensions 
otherwise payable under the plan. It 
never was intended or provided that 
the full service pensions computed un- 
der the regular one-percent formula 
should be in addition to pensions or 
old-age benefits which might later be- 
come payable under the law. 

It is important to keep this in mind, 
since it is basic to a correct under- 
standing of the method adopted for 
the adjustment of the company's pen- 
sions on account of the old-age bene- 
fits which first became payable under 
the Social Security Act on January i, 


The Benefit and Pension Plan Is Thirty-five 


In view of the fact that employees 
must contribute half the funds from 
which their old-age benefits are paid 
under the Social Security system, the 
Bell System pension plan provisions 
requiring the deduction of the entire 
federal old-age benefit from the com- 
pany pension did not seem proper. 
After careful study, it was decided 
that the fairest way of coordinat- 
ing the pension plan with the So- 
cial Security Act would be to de- 
duct from the Bell System service 
pension beginning at 65 only one-half 
of the Primary Insurance Benefit 
based on Bell System wages and em- 
ployment : the half representing what 
is payable on account of the Com- 
pany's tax contributions for those 
benefits. In consequence, the retired 
employee now receives at company 
expense after attaining 65 years of 
age, just as much from the company 
through the Pension Trust Fund and 
through the Social Security law as he 
would have received directly as a 
company pension if there were no So- 
cial Security law. On top of that, he 
gets the half of the Primary Insur- 
ance Benefit which results from his 
own contributions under the Social 
Security law. 

Social Security old-age benefits re- 
sult from a form of group insurance 
as contrasted with benefits provided 
on the basis of individual contribu- 
tions. As is true of any insurance 
system, the Social Security Act gives 
the assurance of protection to all who 
become eligible for payments, at the 
general expense of all who contribute 
in the form of taxes to the fund from 
which the payments are made. The 
total amount of Social Security bene- 
fits which any individual may receive 
bears no relation to the total of the 

taxes which have been contributed 
either by him or in his behalf. As 
under all insurance systems, some 
people stand to get more than others; 
some will receive more and others 
less than the total amount of taxes 
which they and their employers have 
contributed. This "averaging" is the 
fundamental principle on which all 
forms of insurance are based. Just 
as it is inconsistent with the basic 
theory of the Social Security Act to 
relate the Social Security benefits re- 
ceived by an employee to the taxes he 
has paid, it is also inconsistent to re- 
late the deductions from his company 
pension to the taxes paid by the com- 
pany in his individual case. 

Social Security is no doubt here to 
stay, and over the years companies 
are expected to provide half the funds 
from which such benefits are paid. It 
follows that they must, over the long 
pull, coordinate the pensions provided 
under their private plans with Social 
Security payments. Money paid to 
the Government by the companies to 
provide pensions for their employees 
must be considered along with money 
paid out to meet the expenses of their 
private pension plans. Both of these 
items represent real costs to the com- 
pany; in the long run its pension plan, 
to avoid duplication of pensions at 
company expense and to be of a sound 
and continuing character, must give 
full weight to the fact that half the 
Social Security payments are financed 
by the company. 

Most industrial pension plans to- 
day either directly or through pen- 
sion computation formulae deduct 
one-half or all of the Social Security 
old-age benefit. In other words, in- 
dustrial pension plans both old and 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

new recognize the need for adjust- 
ments based on the amount of Social 
Security benefits. The Bell System 
plan is similar in this respect to other 
company pension plans. 

Security of the Bell System 
Pension Plan 

Too MUCH EMPHASIS cannot be 
placed on the prime essential of any 
really good pension plan: security. 

Unless there is security, employees 
have no assurance of receiving the 
pension to which they have become 
eligible upon retirement. When an 
insecure pension plan fails, it works 
grave hardship on many employees at 
a time when their earning powers 
have decreased or ceased entirely 
and when they will probably have 
little chance to get going again to 
provide for their later years. This 
has been the unfortunate experience 
in a number of other plans over the 
years, especially during depression 

The Bell System plan is outstand- 
ing in respect to its security. The 
pension funds trusteed under the 
terms of the plan must be used solely 
and entirely for service pension pur- 
poses. Amounts accrued on an ac- 
tuarial basis are paid into the funds 
currently, to provide for payment in 
full of the pensions as they become 
due and for the continuation of such 
payments during the remaining life- 
time of the retired employee. The 
amounts thus provided over the years 
are sufficient to meet, by a substantial 
margin, all matured pension liability; 
and the balance in the funds, with 
current accruals and interest earn- 
ings, will provide for future pensions 
as employees become eligible to them. 

With such essential security, with 
due recognition of important pension 
principles, and with the use of good 
judgment, the Bell System benefit and 
pension plan will continue in the years 
ahead to fulfill its important func- 
tions, to the mutual advantage of em- 
ployees, stockholders, and the public. 

Who's Who & What's What 

{Continued from page ys) 

ment, and assistant vice president since 
1939. Here he coordinates the lecture- 
demonstration activities of the Associated 
Companies, assists them in the prepara- 
tion of semi-technical and popular talks 
and demonstrations for various civic bodies 

and public groups, and, upon invitation, 
himself gives talks and demonstrations 
throughout the country before universities 
and colleges, professional and academic 
engineering societies, and similar organiza- 
tions. Dr. Perrine contributed several arti- 
cles to the former Bell Telephone 
Quarterly between 1925 and 1936, and 
is an editor of the Bell System Technical 









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National magazine advertisements of 
the Bell System during 1947 have won 
an "Honorable Mention" for the A. T. 
& T. Company and the N. W. Ayer & 
Son, Inc., advertising agency. In pub- 
lishing the awards, the trade magazine 
Advertising & Selling said in part of 
the A. T. & T. series : 

"The Bell Telephone System be- 
lieves that all business in a democratic 
country begins with public permission 
and exists by public approval. If this 
belief is true, the company feels that 
business should be cheerfully willing to 
tell the public about its policies, its pres- 
ent state of operation, its plans for the 

"This is not an easy task. The peo- 
ple who make up the public are gener- 
ally busy with their own affairs and are 
not particularly prone to read about the 
telephone business — or any other busi- 
ness, for that matter. 

"That the Bell System has succeeded 

in overcoming this obstacle is shown by 
its Informative Series of advertisement 
which last year appeared in some 50 
national magazines. . . . 

"The Bell Telephone System, how- 
ever, measures the effectiveness of this 
campaign not so much by readership fig- 
ures, but by the regard the general pub- 
lic has for the telephone business, its effi- 
ciency and courtesy, its standing as a 
good citizen in the community," 

The first "Honorable Mention" 
Award to the A. T. & T. Company was 
made in 1939 for an informative adver- 
tisement appearing in national maga- 
zines. During 1943, 1944, and 1945 
the regular awards were suspended and 
a new series started called the War 
Time Advertising Awards. The "100 
Best War Advertisements" were se- 
lected annually. During each of these 
three years, two A. T. & T. advertise- 
ments won places in this selected group 
of advertisements. 


Graphic Representation Makes Many Kinds of Facts Easier 

To Understand^ and Contributes Much to the Successful 

Operation of Our Business 

Charts at Work 

Kenneth TV, Haemer 

The telephone business is made 
to order for the use of statistics — or 
so it has been often said. One reason 
why ours is a "statistical" business is 
that efficient operation demands it. 
Day by day, week by week, month by 
month, year by year, we must make 
careful and continuous measurement 
of a great many different telephone 
activities, to be sure that the progress 
or performance of hundreds of tele- 
phone matters is as it should be. 
This enormous need for facts is so 
important at all levels of the organi- 
zation that if opportunities for their 
collection were not inherent in the 
business, we would have to find ways 
to provide them. 

Fortunately, the nature of our 
business makes it relatively easy to 
obtain many of the statistics we need. 
Providing telephone service is a re- 
tail business, involving millions of in- 
dividual transactions daily, most of 
which are recorded. These records 
provide the feeder material that, 
properly selected and summarized, 

becomes one kind of statistics. In 
addition, our business includes hun- 
dreds of measurable operations that 
go on behind the scenes, out of sight 
and sound of the telephone user. 
These measurements, too, are fertile 
sources of valuable statistical data. 

But although the nature of the job 
has made an extensive use of statistics 
both necessary and possible, they 
would not be available for use unless 
the people who carry on the business 
recognized this need and did some- 
thing about it. Without common 
purposes and uniform operating prac- 
tices throughout the Bell System, few 
figures of any value could be gathered. 
Without an acute awareness of the 
importance of accurate, detailed data 
on all phases of operation, many 
valuable statistics would remain un- 
reported and unused. This need for 
timely information on all aspects of 
the business was foreseen early in the 
development of telephony, and it is 
being met throughout the Bell Sys- 

Charts at Work 


Pioneering Charts for 
Business Use 

Charts — statistics in graphic form 
— have been used in our business since 
long before figures were dignified by 
the name statistics. We were among 
the pioneers in the development of 
charts for business use; not only for 
an occasional conference or special 
study, but as a basic tool in the day- 
to-day operation and management of 
the business. We discovered very 
early that this method of putting fig- 
ures into picture form was very much 
better, for certain purposes, than the 
use of the same figures in tabular 
form — or, for that matter, in any 
other form. 

Charts have the advantage of all 
picture forms : they visualize the 
story so that it can be seen at a glance. 
They are forceful, dramatic, eco- 
nomical of the reader's time, and less 
likely to be misinterpreted than other 
forms of presentation. Sooner or 
later, every important measurable 
fact about our business finds its way 
into a chart. 

A roll-call of even the more im- 
portant uses of statistical charts in 
the Bell System would be a long one 
indeed. Many of these uses relate 
to subjects so specialized that they 
would not be appropriate in a gen- 
eral article such as this. The ex- 
amples shown on these pages were 
selected to illustrate some of the 
more common every-day uses to 
which charts are put in our business. 

One of the easiest charts to under- 
stand is the pie chart. It looks sim- 
ple and "non-statistical," and there- 
fore is very useful for presenting 
facts to readers untrained in the use 
of charts. For this kind of audience 




58.4 s; 





Figure i 

it is probably the best type of chart 
to use for showing the component 
parts of a single total. The example 
in Figure i shows how the world's 
telephones were distributed as of Jan- 
uary I, 1947. It demonstrates at a 
glance, in a forceful and direct man- 
ner, that more than half of the 
world's telephones were in the United 
States and that of the remainder al- 
most all could be connected with tele- 
phones in the United States. Charts 
of this type are used principally as 
a means of explaining such facts about 
the Bell System to employees, to the 
public, and to the owners of the busi- 
ness. Management's responsibility 
to these three groups includes the re- 
sponsibility of keeping each informed 
about many such facts, and very often 
a chart provides the best method of 
transmitting the information. 

Another simple chart form is illus- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


trated in Figure 2. Although this 
one looks a trifle more "charty" than 
the pie chart, it is easy to understand. 
This chart simply compares a series 
of items placed side by side to facili- 
tate measurement. The thickness of 
the bars has no meaning; the bars 
are merely lines thickened for empha- 
sis and only their length is significant. 
The example in Figure 2, borrowed 
from "Telephone Statistics of the 
World," shows clearly that there are 
more telephones per 100 persons in 
the United States than in any other 
country in the world. It also shows 
where each country stands in relation 
to each of the others. Although this 
bar type is most useful for such sim- 
ple comparisons as this, it is also used 
for summarizing comparisons that 

are not so simple. For example, an- 
other bar chart, looking quite similar 
to Figure 2, might show, instead, a 
comparison of the coefficients of cor- 
relation between the volume of tele- 
phone traffic and the volume of busi- 
ness in a number of other industries. 
This points up the fact that many 
simple-appearing charts are not easy 
to understand because the concept 
contained in them is not a familiar 
one. The picture may be clear, but 
its meaning will not be unless the 
reader is acquainted with the subject 
and with the particular method of 
measurement used to portray it. 

Charts i and 2 show a cross-sec- 
tion of how matters stood at a par- 
ticular time. They are, in effect, 
"still" pictures. "Moving" pictures, 
showing the 




January 1, 1947 ■ 

Unrtod Stotai 



New Zeoland 






1 5 10 15 20 1 

















Union of So. Africa 






















U. S. S. R. 


1 Total World | 



Figure 2 

changes over a 
period of time, al- 
though not quite 
so simple, are of 
great value in 
tracing the trends 
of the business. 
Chart 3 is a good 
example of such 
an action picture. 
This picture of 
telephone growth, 
viewed in 1 9 1 9 
perspective, was 
used in the A. T. 
& T. Company 
Annual Report of 
that year. Al- 
though the num- 
ber of telephones 
in service was 
small by today's 
standards, it rep- 
resented an ex^ 
tremely rapid 


Charts at Work 





DEC 31. 1876- DEC. 31. 1919 



\t/M•/////////^. BELL CONNECTING 

On Dec 3i. 1919 there was one 

8eu. telephone station to each 9 

of the total population of the 

UNITED States. 

growth, and the 
chart shows this 

The current ver- 
sion of this chart, 
shown in Figure 4. 
proves that in 
charts, too, all 
things are relative. 
Over a period of 
about the same 
number of years. 
Chart 3 shows an 
increase of about 
12 million and 
Chart 4 about 20 
million telephones; 
yet because it 
started from such 
a low point, the 
12 million increase 
seems greater than 
the 20 million. 
This impression is 
further heightened 
by the difference in 
the shape of the 
two charts, and 
emphasizes the im- 
portance of using 
the same size and 
shape for charts 
that are to be com- 
pared. What a 
careful comparison 
of the two charts 
actually does show 
is that the relative 
increase was very 

much greater during the earlier pe- 
riod, although the absolute growth 
was greater during the latter period. 

Telephone development statistics, 
such as were shown in the preceding 
charts, are valuable over-all indica- 
tors of how good a job we have 















5.500.000 " 










1876 73 "80 -82 "84 

•88 "90 "92 "M "96 "98 1900 \E W -06 tJS 


Figure 3 

been doing in providing telephone 
service. If we were not doing a good 
job, no such growth would have been 
demanded by our customers. But to 
make sure that we maintain the high 
standards of service desired and that 
the service is still further improved, 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

TELEPHONES -in millions 





1930 1935 1940 

At End of Year 

1945 1947 


Figure 4 

a constant check must be kept on shows that, for manual telephones, 

numerous components of perform- only about four percent of all calls 

ance. Chart 5 illustrates one such take more than 10 seconds before the 

measure of performance. This chart operator answers. This current per- 



, , lit 2ikI 3rd 4lh 

1 1910 1 O"- Qlr. Qlr. Qtt. 
I'""'! 1947 

r I .] I ' ■ ' ' ■ ' ' 

i F M A M 

Figure S 


Charts at Work 


formance shows a definite improve- 
ment over the preceding months this 
year, and is very much better than 
the general level during last year. 
However, it is still not as good 
as the best previous performance, 
achieved in the first quarter of 1939. 
No other method of presentation 
would tell this story as quickly or as 
well as does this simple chart. To- 
gether with many 
other carefully 
developed results 
pictures, this 
chart tells the 
story of whether 
or not we are do- 
ing a good oper- 
ating job. 

In addition to 
the many internal 
checks made on 
quality of service, 
our business also 
makes a continu- 
ing check on what 
our customers 
think about the 
service. Figure 
6 is typical of the 
charts used to pic- 
ture the results 
of the System- 
wide Customer 
Opinion Surveys 
that are made at 
frequent inter- 
vals,* This chart 
shows ver)' clearly 
that most of the 
people who use 
telephone service 

think it is 'Excellent" or "good," and 
that the percentage who think so is 
slightly higher now than during any 
preceding survey in this series. Pub- 
lic opinion information such as this 
serves as a supplement to internal 
service measurement. It helps to 
explain when and how our customers 
agree or disagree with our own esti- 
mates of the kind of job we are doing, 


* See "Finding Out 
What People Think 
of Us." Magazine, 
Spring 1946. 

Figure 6 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

















, /^ 







1920 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 1950 1 

Figure / 

and to point out the particular parts 
of the job with which they may be 
dissatisfied, or about which they may 
have an unfavorable attitude. 

Figure 7 is an example of a slightly 
less simple chart variety. Going back 
to the subject of telephones again, 
this picture shows not only how much 
station activity we handled but also 
the net results of this activity. All 
such net results, which are the differ- 
ence between an adding and taking 
away, can be presented in this sort of 
cause-and-effect picture. It has the 
advantage of telling both how we 
stand and how we got that way. For 
many internal management uses, this 
type of chart is of unique value. The 
inclusion of the background data 
from which the net result was derived 
gives it an entirely different slant 
from any of the preceding charts. 
One of the fascinating facts about 
charts is that they are almost infi- 
nitely variable. Although there are 

only a few basic types of chart, each 
can be modified and adjusted to serve 
the specific requirements of the job 
it has to do. 

Figure 8 is a sample of the stand- 
ard method of linking together a 
series of cross-section pictures such 
as the pie chart shown in Figure i. 
This type of chart is not only a great 
deal more compact than a series of 
pie charts would be, but it is much 
more useful for bringing out shifts in 
the importance of each component 
over a period of time. This picture 
differs from the type of picture shown 
in Charts 3 and 4 in that it shows 
relative amounts : the size of each 
component is not measured in abso- 
lute terms such as dollars or tele- 
phones, but only in relation to the 
size of other components. This ex- 
ample shows that in 1920 Land and 
Buildings and Central Oflice Equip- 
ment combined accounted for about 
29 percent of the total Plant Invest- 


Charts at PTork 


ment, whereas currently they repre- 
sent about 43 percent of the Total 

At first glance, the chart in Figure 
9 may seem a trifle forbidding; but 
it is really simpler than it seems. 
This ingenious chart does the work 
of two charts. It shows first, by the 
heavy unbroken curve, how many 
telephones were gained each year, 
and up to this point it is a simple 
trend chart similar to some of the ex- 
amples already shown. What makes 
this a chart of distinction is the band 
of light broken curves set behind the 
net-gain trend line. This device 
makes it possible to see at a glance 
not only the number of telephones 
gained each year — as shown by the 
scales in the right margin — but also 
how big each gain was in relation to 
the number of stations already in 
service. In other words, this chart 
shows first how big a job was done in 

terms of work performed and, sec- 
ond, how important it was in terms of 
expanding the service. 

Similar charts are used to picture 
other aspects of the business; for ex- 
ample, to show income in relation to 
plant investment, and other ratios in- 
dicating the financial health of the 
business. By such charts as this, the 
managers of our business can see not 
only what the results are but also can 
view them in their proper perspective. 

Moving a step further into the field 
of statistical presentation, the chart 
in Figure 10 illustrates a form of 
analysis that has many useful applica- 
tions in our business. It is generally 
known as a semi-logarithmic chart be- 
cause one of the scales is logarithmic 
instead of arithmetic. This type of 
chart is easily recognized by the un- 
even spacing of the scale rulings. 

The major purpose of this chart is 
quite diflferent from that of any 








Figure 8 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Other of the pre- 
ceding types. In 
one way or an- 
other, all of the 
other examples 
pictured magni- 
tude, that is, how 
big something 
was compared to 
something else, or 
compared to some 
other time. This 
chart, although 
magnitude can be 
read from the 
scale, makes no 
such comparison 
because it does 







..I U.I 




not picture size. — ^^^^^—i 
Instead, it pic- 
titres speed of 

growth. In the other examples, the 
basis of measurement was the dis- 
tance between curve and base line, or 
between one curve and another. In 
this chart, the basis of measurement 
is the slope at which the curve moves. 
It does not show, as it might seem to 
a reader unfamiliar with this type of 
chart, that extension telephones now 
represent nearly one half of the total 
number of telephones. It does show, 
however, that recently they have been 
increasing at a faster rate than the 

The special feature of this type of 
presentation is that a given percent- 
age growth always takes the same 
angle, no matter where it occurs on 
the chart. This is not true of arith- 
metic scale charts, of which Figures 
3-9 are typical examples. This type 
of chart tells a story that no other 
chart can tell. It provides still an- 
other means by which management 

Figure p 

can evaluate results and can gauge 
their significance. 

Many other kinds of charts, on 
many other subjects, and made for 
many other uses, could be placed in 
evidence to demonstrate how charts 
do their part in helping to provide 
good telephone service. The ten ex- 
amples selected here are a representa- 
tive few chosen merely for purposes 
of illustration. Most of them appear 
in recurring reports or analyses, and 
all of them are actively used to pro- 
vide a particular kind of information 
to a specific audience. Although 
most are extremely simple, and only 
hint at the analytical uses to which 
charts may be put, all of these exam- 
ples tell a pertinent story about some 
measurable fact of the business. 

To the people who make charts, 
and to many more whose knowledge 
of the business and judgment of its 
condition are aided by charts, all of 


Charts at fVork 


\ this may be "old stuff." It is set 
i down here to indicate to others, 

' whose contact with graphic presenta- 
tion may be limited, that the making 
of charts — like many another activity 
in the business — is a specialized art, 
representing a considerable degree of 
training and skill. 

In almost every corner of the busi- 
ness, at all levels of its marvagement, 
ways have been found to measure the 
task, to measure the results, and to 
use these measurements as guides to- 
ward doing the job even better. For 
those many measurable facts of the 
business, whether they relate to oper- 
ating results, to accounting, to financ- 
ing, to public relations, or to purchas- 

ing, planning, or research, charts 
provide an invaluable means of ex- 

It is true that some subjects are not 
suitable for chart presentation, and 
that a great many chartable facts can 
be shown just as well or better by 
other methods of presentation. But 
when a picture is wanted instead of 
precise figures, and when the nature 
and importance of the information 
warrants the preparation of a picture, 
charts are the answer. These in- 
genious devices for putting figures 
into graphic form are important tools 
of management, and in the telephone 
business these tools are widely and in- 
tensively put to work. 









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1^*^ ^ 

















1 1 1 1 

t 1 J 1 

1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 

1 1 1 1 


20 1925 1930 1935 1940 1945 19 


Figure lo 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the 

Bell Telephone Quarterly 

Items from Volume II, Number 3, July 1923 

The New Bell Flag 

The presidents of the Associated Com- 
panies of the Bell System met with the 
executives of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company for a five-day confer- 
ence at Yama Farms, on May 26th. . . . 
A feature of the conference w^as the adop- 
tion of a Bell System flag ... to be flown 
from hundreds of Bell-owned buildings, to 
suggest the national character of the serv- 
ice as well as the immense physical resources 
of the Bell System. 

A Privacy Radio System 
for Catalina Island 

The radio telephone system linking 
Catalina Island, thirty miles off the Cali- 
fornia coast, with Los Angeles, has been 
equipped with a new development of Bell 
System engineers which may be called a 
privacy system for the radio telephone. 
The new system was placed in service on 
June 9, and the preliminary tests and actual 
use in service show that speech is as good 
in quality and volume as before its intro- 
duction, and is not intelligible to those at- 
tempting to listen to it with ordinary radio 
receiving apparatus. 

Not only does the wireless link connect 
the island with Los Angeles but, through 
the trunk lines of the Bell System, it puts 
the residents of the island in telephonic 
touch with every commercial center of the 
United States. It was part of the longest 
telephone circuit on record when, in the 
opening of the Havana-Key West sub- 
marine telephone cable, a circuit of over 
5,000 miles was established, by radio, by 
land wires, and by cable, between Catalina 
Island and Cuba. 

The A. T.&T. Company 
Opens New Broadcasting 
Studios in New York 

The new broadcasting studios for use in 
connection with Station WEAF of the 
American Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany were formally opened on the evening 
of April 30. These studios are located at 
195 Broadway, New York City, and em- 
body important modifications adopted in an 
endeavor to improve the quality of broad- 

In July, 1922, the company began broad- 
casting through Station WEAF with a 
single studio located in the Walker-Lispen- 
ard Building at 24 Walker Street. Al- 
though this studio was designed in accord- 
ance with the best practice known to the 
radio art at that time, the experience of six 
months indicated desirable modifications in 
studio design. It was also found that the 
location at Walker Street was not suffi- 
ciently accessible for the many artists who 
take part in the broadcasting programs; 
consequently, the new studios are located 
in the Telephone and Telegraph Building 
at 195 Broadway. Special telephone cir- 
cuits connect the studios with the radio 
transmitting equipment at Walker Street. 

The two outstanding improvements in 
the new studios are: (i) means to elimi- 
nate waits in programs by the use of two 
studios, and (2) a more effective monitor- 
ing equipment by the installation of a novel 
announcer's booth. 

A large studio is provided for bands, 
orchestras, and glee clubs. A small studio 
is used for soloists and speakers. While 
an orchestra is being assembled about the 
microphone in the large studio, a singer or 

Twenty -five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone ^arterly 125 

speaker is broadcasting from the small 
studio. When the singer has completed a 
number and the orchestra is ready, the 
large studio is switched on without any 
delay ; hence, it is possible to alternate from 
one studio to the other without lapses in 
the program. Artists may rest between 
numbers, because the necessity of singing 
six or seven numbers successively is elimi- 

On the opening evening, a special pro- 
gram covering a wide range of entertain- 
ment was broadcast for the benefit of the 
newspaper men, music and dramatic critics, 
and the radio editors who attended. Mr. 
Edgar S. Bloom, Vice President of the 
American Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany, opened the new studio and in the 
course of his remarks gave a brief history 
of the Company's broadcasting activities. 

"The American Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company began broadcasting on 
July 25, 1922, on 360 meter wave length, 
being on the air twelve hours weekly. On 
October 2, 1922, we changed to 400 meter 
wave length, which has been used since 
that time and we are now broadcasting 
about thirt}' hours weekly. 

"During the nine months that we have 
broadcast, nearly 200 of America's leading 
statesmen and citizens have spoken to you 
through WEAF, also many stars of the 
first magnitude in the theatrical and mo- 
tion picture world. Over 200 separate pro- 
grams have been broadcast involving a 
total of 3,000 people including artists. Ac- 
cording to our best estimate, there are prob- 
ably upwards of three-quarters of a million 
radio receiving sets within the area easily 
reached by our station, and, as these sets 
will probably average not less than three 
listeners per set, we have a possible audi- 
ence of between two and three million 

The Bell Public Address 

From the time of Stentor down to a pe- 
riod within the last one or two years no 
human being has ever possessed a voice 
equal to this character of mythology. It 
remained for the Bell engineers to turn 
mythology into fact, and today through the 
Bell Public Address System any man can 
have the power not only of fifty voices but 
of fifty thousand times fifty voices. 

For outdoor occasions, the projectors are 
connected to square wooden horns about 
fifteen feet long and having a cross-section 
which varies from an inch at the receiver 
end to several feet at the mouth of the 
horn. A battery of eight or ten of these 
horns spaced uniformly around a circle, 
when supplied with the highest power from 
the amplifier, will enable a speaker's voice 
to be heard by at least five hundred thou- 
sand people gathered within a diameter of 
half a mile. 

Some time ago one of these high-power 
"loud speakers," as they are sometimes 
called, was installed experimentally in the 
Catskill Mountains, and under favorable 
conditions it was possible to hear the speak- 
er's voice for three and one-half miles 
through one of the mountain valleys. Not 
since the days of Rip Van Winkle, when 
the mystic crew of Hendrik Hudson were 
reputed to play at ten-pins with thunder 
clouds, have these peaceful valleys reverber- 
ated to such a mighty volume of sound. 

The Bell Public Address System has 
been successfully used at many great gath- 
erings, such as the inauguration of Presi- 
dent Harding, the Arlington ceremonies at 
the burial of the Unknown American, the 
dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, and 
other similar occasions. 

Things May Be Temporal^ but Ideas Are Ktemal: The Great 
Truths of Science Live and Are Preserved in the Minds and 

Experience of Mankind 

Ideas, Men, and Things 

James 0. Perrine 

The following paragraphs constitute the major part of an ad- 
dress delivered at the seventh annual "Science for Everyone" 
Congress sponsored by Hartwick College, Oneonta, N. Y., on 
May I, 1948. — Editor. 

The success of science involves a 
number of observations and concepts 
of a great many people : it is achieved 
by cooperative human effort. It is a 
story of the skills and talents of men. 
Developments and achievements build 
upon ideas and concepts dating back 
through many years. There is no 
black magic along the path of science, 
no talisman secretly possessed by 
scientists which vouchsafes success. 
The scientist has no inner light, no 
esoteric intutition. Sir Humphrey 
Davy, one of the greatest of scien- 
tists, who lived 125 years ago, said: 
"Practically all of the contributions 
it has been my good fortune to make 
were suggested to me by failures." 

In these days of great laboratories, 
both industrial and university, involv- 
ing elaborate and costly apparatus 
and thousands of trained experts, it 
is well to reflect that most of the 

great heritage of science that is now 
ours was achieved with crude, rudi- 
mentary, and homespun equipment. 
Volta, Davy, Faraday, Henry, Morse, 
Bell, Franklin, and Edison made great 
creative discoveries with simple equip- 
ment. Galileo and Newton were able 
to conduct experiments with very lit- 
tle apparatus, in ordinary buildings. 
Even in the nineteenth century Lord 
Rayleigh was famous for the skill 
with which he made observations of 
the greatest precision with apparatus 
which he constructed from pieces of 
wire, wood, and sealing wax. 

Sir Francis Bacon, born in 1561, 
emphasized observation and experi- 
ment, rather than blind acceptance of 

Aristotle's naive assumption that 
bodies should fall with velocities pro- 
portional to their weights was doubted 
by Galileo. From the top of the 

IdeaSy Men, and Things 


Leaning Tower of Pisa, Galileo 
showed by direct experiment that 
Aristotle was wrong. For such doubt 
— and other doubts about the world, 
the stars, the sun and planets — 
Galileo was arrested, threatened with 
death, imprisoned for a while and 
forced to spend the rest of his life in 

The effect of Galileo's experiments 
and astronomical observations with a 
telescope was much greater than the 
mere demonstration of a new fact 
might be assumed to be, because it 
tended to destroy the authority of 
Aristotle and to teach men that the 
validity of a fact is to be tested by 
direct experiment instead of by quota- 
tion of any authority, however great. 

Amateurs and Accideiits 

Great truths, great discoveries, 
great advances are not always made 
by experts. In many instances, im- 
portant discoveries in many branches 
of science were made and are now 
being made by amateurs. Great ad- 
vances in science have arisen from a 
study of simple phenomena. New- 
ton said, "Nature is pleased with sim- 

Brashear, the great lens designer 
and polisher, was a Pittsburgh coal 
miner, an amateur. He became a 
distinguished scientist. Professional 
astronomers oftentimes came to him 
for expert advice. 

Priestley was a devout minister, 
not a trained chemist; yet he dis- 
covered oxN'gen. 

Michael Faraday, often called the 
greatest experimenter of all time, and 
one of the illustrous names in electri- 
cal science, had no formal training, 
no academic degrees. As a boy of 
humble heritage he was a janitor and 

bottle washer in the laboratory of 
Sir Humphrey Davy. Davy once 
was asked what was his greatest dis- 
covery. Davy promptly answered: 
Michael Faraday. 

Furthermore, it is literally true 
that many great discoveries were ac- 
cidental. That is the way it has to 
be. We must not attach any stigma, 
any criticism, to the word "accident." 
No one knows what is ahead in the 
realm of basic truth and phenomena; 
no one has any inside track to truth. 

Of course, to have an accident hap- 
pen — to discover something acciden- 
tally in chemistry, biology, physics, 
electronics, medicine, etc. — one must 
not be looking at something but must 
be looking for something: must be 
alert, must have an open mind, must 
be working, experimenting, testing, 
in a laboratory or field; must have 
a sharp wit to see the answer nature 
is ready to reveal. Like Mr. Micaw- 
ber in David Copperfield, one must 
expect something to turn up. 

To discover accidentally is not rep- 
rehensible, is not an indication of lazi- 
ness of body or mind, is not a bit of 
good luck. A miner, a prospector 
does not strike a bonanza while play- 
ing gin rummy. He goes to the hills 
and looks for gold, silver, coal, gas. 
and oil. A scientist does not acciden- 
tally — in the generally accepted sense 
of that term — make a great discov- 
ery while playing golf. After all, 
Isaac Walton made no significant sci- 
entific discovery while angling. 

Oftentimes the very new appears 
absurd or contrary to common sense. 
We must not be too quick to scoff at 
the seeming absurdity of a new idea, 
lest we miss the possible validity of 
that new idea. Both the quantum 
theory of Planck and the relativity 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


theory of Einstein seemed to be 
completely absurd when introduced. 
Fowler wrote, in 1934: "Nothing 
could have exceeded the apparently 
wild extravagance of de Broglie's 
first work on electron waves which 
led directly to quantum mechanics." 

What appears to be classical 
through the years may be nonsensical 
tomorrow. What appears to be 
iconoclastic today may be eternal 
truth tomorrow. 

Mother Nature is not a garrulous, 
kindly lady in lavender and old lace. 
She is a sphinx; she zealously guards 
her broad, basic truths, her elemental 
phenomena. She locks them in strong 
boxes. The jewels in her treasure 
chest are not presented on a silver 
platter. To find the keys, to unlock 
the chest, the scientist must have 
curiosity, determination, imagination, 
and intelligence. 

One example is often worth a 
dozen arguments. I shall therefore 
no longer recite generalities, but shall 
offer some concrete examples which 
are pertinent to the thesis, "Ideas, 
Men, and Things." 

Gregor Mendel and His Garden Peas 

The story of the great research of an al- 
most unknown Austrian biologist, a monk, 
Gregor Mendel by name, is a thrilling one. 

Mendel worked with edible peas which 
he grew in the garden of his monastery. 
He cross-bred the peas differing in one or 
a few sharply contrasting characters. These 
differences he followed through generations, 
always counting accurately the number of 
plants showing each character. He pub- 
lished his findings in an obscure journal in 
1866. His paper reported important facts 
regarding the character of offspring as re- 
lated to the character of the parents. 

His article, "Distributive Mechanism of 
Organic Inheritance," was sent to London 

and elsewhere, but scarcely any one paid 
any attention. A great truth, a great prin- 
ciple, lay on the dusty shelves of the li- 
braries of Europe for a long time. A gen- 
eration later, in 1900, his paper was dis- 
covered independently by three scientists in 
different parts of Europe. One of these 
was DeVries of Holland. It was at once 
realized that a very important discovery 
had been made, so important indeed that 
the study of heredity is to this day often 
called Mendelism. The laws of inherit- 
ance were found to be not peculiar to the 
edible pea but of universal application to 
plants and animals, including man. 

No one would have guessed that Men- 
del's study of peas in 1865 would be of 
utmost importance in the breeding of cat- 
tle in 1948. 

It takes so long for ideas to grow up. 


Phase Rule 

In the ROSTER of really great American 
scientists there is a man whose name and 
work are little known by the general pub- 
lic, even though chemical and chemical en- 
gineering careers are today the ambition of 
many youths. 

Josiah Willard Gibbs was a shy, retir- 
ing, studious lad at Yale about 1858. He 
loved the classics in Latin and Greek. 
After a while his interest turned to chem- 
istry, particularly to physical chemistry. 
He did not like test tubes, crucibles and 
malodorous gases too well. Theoretical 
considerations challenged his talent more 
than things in a laboratory. 

In 1876 he published a paper in an ob- 
scure journal of the Connecticut Academy 
of Science. This paper was entitled "On 
the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Sub- 
stances." Few physical scientists knew of 
the paper, and those who did know of it 
did not recognize its real worth. A quar- 
ter of a century passed. Then a German 
chemist, Ostwald, in 1891 translated the 
paper into German; and later, in 1900, 
Roozeboom did experimental work carried 
out on the basis of Gibbs' principles. The 


IdeaSy Men, and Things 

1 19 

principle called the Phase Rule is now rec- 
ognized as of the highest value in the great 
chemical industries of the world today. 

Salt, water and coal — three components 
in a chemical plant — may be in different 
phases such as gaseous, liquid, and solid 
under different degrees of freedom such as 
temperature, pressure, and concentration. 
How various components, different phases, 
and varying degrees of freedom must be 
interrelated and controlled to produce an 
alloy, a plastic, or a synthetic textile, is 
specified by Gibbs' Phase Rule. 

The really important aspect of Gibbs' 
Phase Rule is not the things involved, but 
the principles : the concept, the understand- 

An idea tried so hard to be born in 1876. 
A quarter of a century elapsed before 
Gibbs' Phase Rule received the recognition 
it so richly deserved. 

Roentgen and X-Rays 


discovery of X-rays in 1896. That dis- 
covery marked the brilliant dawn of the 
present electronic era. 

Prior to Roentgen's notable discovery, 
Morgan, Faraday, Hittorf, Geissler, 
Crookes, and Lenard had been studying 
conduction of electricity through gases at 
low pressures in glass tubes. As early as 
1785, William Morgan, in a paper before 
the Royal Society, referred to the glow 
that could be obtained when electricity was 
passed through an evacuated vessel. 

The first systematic and thorough re- 
search on electrical conductivity through 
gases was that of Faraday, in 1836. In 
1869, Hittorf published further investiga- 
tions on electrical conductivity in gases. 
Crookes did a great deal of research, and 
called the cathode ra)rs in his tubes, now 
accepted as electrons, the fourth state of 

In 1896, Roentgen covered the Hittorf- 
Crookes tube with a piece of black paper 
in a study of the cathode raj^ — electrons, 
as we call them today. When this was 

done, something extraordinary happened. 
Some fluorescent crystals glowed brilliantly. 
The room was dark, paper covered the 
Crookes' tube; yet some kind of light, a 
new kind of light as it were, caused the 
fluorescent crystals to glow. Then Roent- 
gen noticed that the new kind of light pene- 
trated the paper and pasteboard cover about 
some photographic plates and blackened 
them. The new kind of light had gone 
through opaque material. 

There was no theory that predicated the 
existence of the X-rays. They were the 
result of man's study of electrical phe- 
nomena dating back many years. Perhaps 
Morgan, previously mentioned, produced 
X-rays one hundred years before but had 
not realized it. Hittorf and Crookes cer- 
tainly produced X-rays hundreds of times. 
Crookes actually fogged a box of photo- 
graphic plates in his laboratory about 1886. 
At that time he wrote to the London firm 
who had sold him the plates and complained 
that the plates were defective. When he 
heard of Roentgen's discovery, he realized 
that the allegedly defective plates had been 
blackened by X-rays from his own vacuum 
tubes. He did not have the apperceptive 
wit to observe the answer nature had laid 
before him. 

Roentgen had made a startling, a brand 
new, a really momentous discovery. When 
asked by friends: "What were your im- 
pressions; what were your inward reac- 
tions when you realized you had found a 
new kind of radiation; what did you 
think?" Roentgen cogently replied, "I 
didn't think, I investigated." 

The nature of the new radiation was 
not known, and could not be fitted into 
the pattern of contemporaneous knowledge. 
Hence they were called X-rays. For many 
years nature kept her secret, even though 
skillful investigators kept pelting her with 
questions. X-rays could not be bent, like 
light waves, through a lens. They seemed 
to defj' any attempts to be diffracted. 

Then in 19 12 — two score years later — 
Max von Laue used the closely packed and 
regularly arranged atoms of a quartz crys- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


tal as a diffraction grating. Then X-rays 
became a member of the electromagnetic 
family. They were very short waves. 
Their longer brothers were ultra-violet 
light, visible light, heat waves and radio 
waves. Their wavelength was one five- 
thousandth that of light. 

For a hundred years men were on the 
brink of discovery of X-rays. Ideas try so 
very hard to be born; it seems that basic 
discoveries need to be nurtured for many 
years in the cradle of time. 

Radio Waves and the Electro- 
magnetic Spectrum 

Newton, perhaps the greatest scientist of 
all time, did a most beautiful experiment 
when he sent a beam of light through a 
prism. The white light was split into 
seven lovely colors: red, orange, yellow, 
green, blue, indigo, violet. The beauty of 
the rainbow, the raindrops separating the 
sunlight into brilliant colors, took on an 
even greater beauty: that of understand- 
ing. Visible colors, ultra-violet light re- 
vealed by fluorescent minerals, and heat 
waves — all appeared to be members of one 

But what was the physical, the innate 
nature of these waves? What was the 
quality of this family? 

The answer was supplied by J. Clerk 
Maxwell in 1865. He studied mathe- 
matically the propagation of electric and 
magnetic forces in space, and found the 
velocity of propagation to be identical 
with the known velocity of light. He set 
forth the brand new idea that light waves 
were really electromagnetic waves; radio 
waves, as we say today. Thus he con- 
sidered visible light as a restricted portion 
of a broad array of radiation of different 
wave lengths and frequency. He pre- 
dicted that longer waves might exist which 
would be far too long to be seen by the eye 
but which could conceivably be produced 
and detected by other means, perhaps by 
distinctively electrical techniques. 

Here was a great question put to na- 
ture, put to man to investigate. 

Again, as in other fields of research, al- 
most a quarter of a century elapsed before 
the right key was found to unlock a par- 
ticular drawer in nature's treasure chest, 
which contained the jewel Maxwell 
thought was there. In 1887, Heinrich 
Hertz confirmed experimentally Maxwell's 
theory. Radio waves are sometimes ap- 
propriately called Hertzian waves. The 
radio waves produced and detected by 
Hertz were what we today call short 
waves. His radio waves were ten feet 
long, 100 million cycles per second in fre- 
quency. Also he experimented with shorter 
waves: about two feet long, 500 million 
cycles per second in frequency. 

Fifteen years after Hertz, very long 
waves were used by Marconi. Medium- 
long waves were used for broadcasting 
thirty years after Hertz. 

1887 to 1937 is fifty years. And this 
half century had to be eked out before the 
short waves of Hertz were put to use by 
man for communication. 

The electro-magnetic family is a great 
family of vibrations ; there are about eighty 
octaves of them. The entire gamut of 
these eighty octaves has been experimen- 
tally investigated. Long heat waves have 
met short radio waves. Ultra-violet waves 
have met X-rays and X-rays have met the 
gamma waves emitted by radium. In the 
realm of electric power and communica- 
tions electric waves, thirty octaves of them, 
ranging from 25 cycles per second to 
30,000 million cycles per second, are play- 
ing a role in the business and social af- 
fairs of man. 

Maxwell and Hertz, with their great 
analytical talent and experimental skill, 
had fashioned a great amphitheatre of un- 
derstanding out of which opened many 

It took a long time for the first short 
radio waves ever produced to get into the 
affairs of men and carry speech, music, and 
television over land and sea. 

Electronics M 

More than a hundred and fifty years ago, 
Dufay, in France, observed that an object 


Ideas, Men, and Things 


charged with electricity — a piece of sulphur 
that had been rubbed with a woolen cloth, 
a glass rod rubbed with silk — lost that 
charge more rapidly when hot than when 
cold. Why this was true, no one hazarded 
a guess. 

When Edison was developing the in- 
candescent electric light in 1880, he was 
bedeviled with a strange phenomenon. 
That the hot filament of his light was 
actually boiling out billions of charges of 
electricity was not ever dreamed of by 
Edison, perhaps the greatest inventor of 
all times. He was pestered by an unknown 
phenomenon. He thought so little of the 
annoying and seemingly useless effect he 
encountered that he, a great inventor seek- 
ing to patent everything he could, not only 
made known his observations to a visitor 
from England, Sir William Preece, but 
also made some extra lamp bulbs and gave 
them to Preece to take home and study at 
his leisure. 

It took two-score years for John Am- 
brose Fleming to develop a useful electri- 
cal device, the Fleming valve, taking ad- 
vantage of the effect which had pestered 
Edison. In the years to come, the Edison 
effect, so called — the emission of electrons 
by a hot object — ^which Edison did not 
think enough of to investigate further, 
will be considered one of his greatest dis- 

Prior to Edison's observation and Flem- 
ing's making of an electronic rectifier, 
charges of electricity had been pulled out of 
a cold cathode by sheer brute force of a 
high voltage. But Fleming, J. J. Thom- 
son, and O. W. Richardson, at Princeton 
about 1915, rationalized Edison's observa- 
tion. It was discovered that incandescently 
hot objects did in generous fashion what 
Dufay observed over a hundred years be- 
fore: electrons, negative charges of elec- 
tricity, seemed to take their departure 
spontaneously from the hot filament. 

Before these observations and the ra- 
tionalization of them, no one had the 
imagination to predict that charges of elec- 
tricity could exist as such, separate from 

an atom of matter. The first device utiliz- 
ing this brand new concept was the Flem- 
ing valve, or rectifier. By it alternating 
current could be converted to direct cur- 
rent. It gave promise of being, like a 
piece of natural crystal, a detector of radio 
waves. Today, great electronic rectifiers 
are used in telephony and broadcasting and 
television to change high-voltage electronic 
alternating currents to high-voltage direct 

After Fleming and his two-electrode 
valve, a diode, DeForest made his brilliant 
invention of the three-electrode valve. 

Following DeForest came the brilliant 
researches of H, D. Arnold of the Bell 
Telephone Laboratories and Irving Lang- 
muir of the General Electric Company. 
Greatly improved vacuum pumps made it 
possible for Arnold and Langmuir to in- 
vestigate, thoroughly understand, and con- 
trol the performance of electrons, unham- 
pered by association with molecules of gas, 
in a very highly evacuated glass bulb. 
Nowadays we have four-electrode valves, 
tetrodes ; and five-electrode valves, pentodes. 
We have greatly improved X-ray tubes, 
cathode ray tubes, television tubes, and 
millions of vacuum tubes in wire and 
radio communications — all electronic tubes. 

So years after the first observations in 
1880, an annoying phenomenon, not under- 
stood, turns out to be one of the really 
great observations of all time in the field 
of electricity. 

There is no source of electricity in na- 
ture except the intractable lightning flash 
and the phenomenon of static electricity, 
which even today have very little applica- 
tion to the needs and wants of man. 

But electrons — infinitesimally small, 
negative charges of electricity — are made 
to do our bidding in glass bulbs. Some- 
times the bulbs are almost perfectly evacu- 
ated; sometimes the bulbs are filled with 
gases — neon, nitrogen, mercury vapor. 

No idea, no field of understanding, no 
principles, no know-how has spent a greater 
period in the cradle of time than has the 
science of electronics. No field of phjrsics, 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


of electrical engineering, has borne greater 
fruits, made possible more and finer appli- 
cation to the affairs of man than the open- 
ing of nature's treasure chest which con- 
tained the jewel of electronics. Many at- 
tempts were made over a long period of 
years by many men in many different coun- 
tries to find the keys. Conspicuous success 
has been achieved. 

It seems that basic phenomena, ideas, and 
techniques have to be nestled for so many 
years before they even try their wings. 


Electricity — positive and negative 
charges — is present in all things at all 
times; it is here, there, and everywhere. 
Every substance and every object in the 
universe consists of a vast and turbulent 
array of electrical charges. 

Electricity is not, in its own right, a use- 
ful commodity in everyday life. It is not 
like air, water, metals, food, flowers. 
Rather, it is the amazing quality of elec- 
tricity to enter into entangling alliances 
with various forms of power and energy 
that entitles it to be regarded as one of the 
greatest servants of man. Electricity is not 
power, not energy. Electricity has but one 
role to play in the affairs of man: to act as 
the number one intermediary in the various 
interrelations of power involved in heat, 
sound, light, chemical and mechanical 

In giant electric generators, mechanical 
power derived from heat and water power 
twists an armature round and round. 
Power in an electro-magnetic form, really 
in the form of electro-magnetic waves, is 
thus available to be guided by wires to fac- 
tory and home, to be translated back into 
heat and work, and of course to produce 
light too. 

However, there is one most interesting 
and striking method whereby mechanical 
power can be changed directly to electrical 
power. No intermediate apparatus, like 
the generators of a power station or the 
dynamic microphone of communication, is 

This direct manner of changing me- 
chanical power to electrical power is pos- 
sible because of the innate quality of many 
types of natural crystal, like this quartz 
crystal I have in my hand. If I give this 
crystal a mechanical blow, a pull, a squeeze, 
a twist, one face will be charged positively, 
another face negatively. The Greeks had 
a name for it, "piezo" or pressure elec- 

Crystals were observed to have electrical 
properties centuries ago. A history of elec- 
tricity was written in 1767 by Joseph 
Priestley, discoverer of oxygen. In this 
history, Priestley talks about the electricity 
of the tourmaline. Tourmaline is a natu- 
ral crystal. 

In 1828 Andre Becquerel described ex- 
periments in which mechanical stress was 
applied to quartz and other crystals to pro- 
duce an electric charge. 

Pierre Curie and his brother Paul stud- 
ied piezo-electricity and published their 
findings in 1880. It was they who first 
thoroughly investigated and rationalized 
the pressure-electric effect. 

Another jewel, literally as well as fig- 

* At this point an experimental demonstration 
of converting mechanical energy to electrical 
energy and vice versa was presented. 

A rochelle salt crystal was given a heavy 
blow with a mallet. A two-foot neon tube in 
spiral form was momentarily lighted by the 
electrical charge from the crystal. 

The same crystal was then connected to an 
amplifier and loudspeaker. A vibrating tuning 
fork was placed on the crystal mounting, with 
the result that its tone could readily be heard 
by the listeners. The tick of a watch was made 
audible to the audience. 

The crystal was finally placed against the 
throat near the vocal chords. The vibrating 
vocal chords activated the crystal so that it 
could serve as a microphone. Intelligible speech 
was thus emitted from the public address system. 

To illustrate the direct conversion of electrical 
energy to mechanical, a vacuum tube oscillator 
with its alternating charge was connected to a 
quartz crystal wafer. Audible sound due to the 
vibrating crystal was emitted. By touching the 
crystal with a bit of cotton on a small stick of 
wood, the sound stopped. The vibrating crystal 
was thus illustrated to be the source of mechani- 
cal vibrations, of sound. A tone of 2000 cycles 
per second and another of 4CKX} cycles per sec- 
ond were used. 


Ideas, Men, and Things 


uratively, was now found in nature's treas- 
ure chest. 

Generally speaking, the piezo-electric ef- 
fect remained a curiosity — a useless, inter- 
esting phenomenon of the physicist's lab- 
oratory — for thirty-five years. 

Then, during the war of 1914-1918, 
Langevin of France made some brilliant 
attempts to use quartz crj'stals as a source 
of sound in submarine detection by the echo 
method under water. 

In the 1920s, Professor Pierce of Har- 
vard and Professor Cady of Wesleyan Uni- 
versity made conspicuous contributions. 

In recent years, a number of researches 
in the Bell Telephone Laboratories have 
resulted in a most comprehensive under- 
standing of the properties and of the cut- 
ting of crj'stals for communication pur- 
poses. Synthetic piezo-electric crystals are 
now made which, in some respects, have 
characteristics comparable to natural quartz 

Synthetic crystals are grown from seeds 
placed in a chemical solution. It takes a 
few weeks or so for a crystal such as this 
one in my hand to grow. It perhaps took 
centuries for the seeds of quartz crystals to 
grow in nature's own laboratory. Seeds of 
observation and understanding were found 
in connection with piezo-electric crystals 
over one hundred years ago. It took a very 
long time for these seeds to grow. Who 
would ever have dreamed, one hundred 
years ago, that a shimmering sheet of rock 
would play a part in an electrical system 
to keep almost perfect account of seconds? 
Who, one hundred years ago, would have 
had the temerity to predict that mechani- 
cally vibrating plates of rock would play an 
electrical role in the drama of sending 
articulate speech and beautiful music to 
millions of homes by radio broadcasting 
stations and in helping to guide and dis- 
tribute hundreds of telephone messages to 
the proper person or business office after 
they had traveled simultaneously over a 
single pair of wires from a distant city? 


The path to ideas, to understand- 
ing, is not easy, is not rapid, is not a 
royal road. In what I have told 
about a number of great scientists 
and the ideas they evolved, and the 
things they helped produce in usable 
form, you will readily subscribe to 
the thought already stated several 
times: "Ideas try very hard to be 
born." It takes a long time for a 
youth to grow up. It also takes a 
long time for ideas to grow up. It 
seems that so many ideas have to be 
nurtured so very long in the cradle of 
time. Sometimes ideas do not seem 
ever to grow up. 

You will agree with Browning who 
wrote : "Ah, but a man's reach should 
exceed his grasp or what's a Heaven 

The really basic problem is one of 
ideas, concepts, principles; of know- 
how, of intangibles, imponderables. 
The quintessence of the problem is 

Mind you, I do not say theological. 
I mean the deep and broad ethical 
and spiritual values; I mean the 
eternal verities. 

To solve this problem effectively 
means education, the promotion of 
concepts of tolerance and forbear- 
ance, of world-wide understanding — 
a philosophy, if you will. We must 
be right in our minds, in our attitudes, 
to prevent all the physical things we 
have made from becoming Franken- 
stein monsters which destroy. They 
can be blessings, which make for hap- 
piness. What they are and what they 
become depends on our spirit. 

Things may be destroyed; struc- 
tures may be broken down by storms 
and earthquakes; trains may be 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

wrecked; airplanes may crash in fog; 
bridges may be torn from their foot- 
ings by a rushing torrent of water 
and ice. Telephone cables and radio 
antennas may be broken down by ice ; 
a telephone central office connecting 
thousands of subscribers may be 
ruined by a fire. 

These are all great disasters. But, 
after all, only things are involved. 
The knowledge, the know-how, the 
principles of mechanics, the great 
truths of design and manufacture, the 
basic understanding of chemistry, of 
electrical principles and of electronics, 
are still in the minds and experience 
of men. In the treatises and in the 
books written and published by men. 
These latter cannot be lost, cannot be 
destroyed. They are permanent, dur- 
able, everlasting; even more everlast- 
ing than the hills. 

The advances of electrical commu- 
nication by wire and radio will not of 
themselves make for better under- 
standing among the races of the 
world. If people are tolerant, con- 

siderate, are disposed to be friendly, 
World-wide communications may help. 
But if races are disposed to be mad, 
inconsiderate, obstinate, unwilling to 
try to understand others, rapid com- 
munication may excite more hatred, 
stir more stubborn obstinacy, more 

But scientists are basically opti- 
mists. They, as well as other fine 
folks in all walks of life — in business, 
in education, in the professions and 
in the church — have faith in man's 
basic and innate goodness. The com- 
munications research and operating 
workers get a bit of a lift and heart- 
warming satisfaction in realizing that 
they have learned how to send, on 
the fantastically swift wings of elec- 
tric waves over wires and radio, the 
words, the languages, the music and 
the pictures of man to the far curves 
of the world. They like to believe 
with Pasteur that, in the long run, 
through the years, ugliness and igno- 
rance will be wiped out by beauty 
and understanding. 

The Greatest Communication Network 

in History 

The following statement of the special Bell System facilities 
provided at the Republican and Democratic National Conven- 
tions in Philadelphia earlier in the summer was made on the 
Telephone Hour radio broadcast of June 21. — Editor. 

Tonight the eyes and ears of the nation 
are turned toward historic Philadelphia, 
where in its huge Convention Hall an 
event of importance to all Americans is 
taking place — the national convention of a 
major political party. 

We'd like to tell you about a few of the 
things the Bell System has done to pro- 
vide for the Philadelphia conventions — 
probably the broadest communications cov- 
erage in our history. Millions of Ameri- 
cans will hear the activities on their radios ; 
hundreds of thousands will view them on 
television sets; practically all of us will 
read the latest reports in our favorite news- 

Miles of wire, temporarj' switchboards, 
cable, and other needed equipment have 
been furnished by the Bell System to meet 
the nation's requirements for television, 
radio, telephoto, and press services, in ad- 
dition to the usual heavj' telephone traffic. 
All told, some 70 special or additional serv- 
ices have been provided. 

Months of preparation preceded today's 
first session in Philadelphia's Convention 
Hall. Hundreds of telephone people — 
engineers, installers, linemen, operators — 
working in close coordination, planned, in- 

stalled and are now maintaining and op- 
erating this complete system, one of our 
biggest jobs of its kind in 70 years of tele- 
phone service. 

For television, the Bell System's radio- 
relay-coaxial-cable network linking seven 
East Coast cities, from Boston to Rich- 
mond, h^ been augmented by additional 
channels in the coaxial cables. 

Reporters and commentators covering 
the conventions are using private lines con- 
necting Convention Hall with individual 
newspapers and the press associations. 

News photo services, with darkrooms in 
Convention Hall, are sending pictures over 
telephoto machines linked by special cir- 
cuits with the picture service networks. 

For radio, new circuits connect studios 
and floor microphones in the Hall with the 
four major networks and individual radio 

Mobile public telephone trailers, addi- 
tional switchboards, and a large force of 
operators are already at work handling 
local and long distance calls. 

Helping to bring to the people of the na- 
tion fast first-hand accounts of these great 
events is another example of the many ways 
in which the Bell System serves the public 
need and interest. 

^mtf 2^j^\ \.i^^^ i\umui^r irirct^ yiuiumn 1(J^6 


Haw Western Electric Serves Telephone Users 
Clifton W. Phalen 

A Design for Living • Theresa E. Boden 

Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year 
Fredric M. Biathrow and F. Raymond Brewster 

Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet 
Erlb S. Miner 

Most People Are Honest • H. Montague Pope 

Telephones of the World • James R. McGowan 

mcan^elephme Sr-^elembh Company 'Newwrk. 

Bell TelephoneA/^^W 

Autumn 1948 

How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users, 
Clifton W. Phalen, 141 

A Design for Living, Theresa E. Boden, 148 

Telephone City, 162 

Sorting Two-and-a-half Billion Tickets a Year, 
Fredric M. Biathrow and F. Raymond Brewster, 164 

Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet, 
Erie S. Miner, 172 

Most People Are Honest, H. Montague Pope, 185 

Telephones of the World, James R. McGowan, 192 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 202 

^ Medium of Suggestion ^ a Record of Progress 

Published for the supei-visory forces of the Bell System by the Information Department of 
American Telephone and Telegraph Co., /p5 Broadway^ New Yo?-k /, N. Y. 
Leroy a. Wilson, President; Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, Sec; Donald R. Belcher, Treas. 

An inspector checks the adjustment of a unit of dial switching equipment to within 
thousandths of an inch before it leaves Western Electric s Hawthorne Works. Such pre- 
cision is an essential factor in enabling the Bell System's operating companies to provide 
swift telephone connections and clear transmission over distances short or long. See the 
article beginning on the opposite page 

As an Integral Part of the Bell System^ Our Manufacturing 

. And Supply Unit Has a Vital Share in Providing the Best 

Telephone Service at the L^owest Possible Cost 

How Western Electric Serves 
Telephone Users 

Clifton J4^. Phalen 

The job of the Bell System is to 
provide good telephone service — the 
kind that causes people to say of it, 
"That's good. That's fine." 

To help carry out this job the 
Western Electric Company — the man- 
ufacturing and supply unit of the 
System — furnishes to the operating 
telephone companies most of the 
equipment they use. Western Elec- 
tric has been a part of the System 
for more than 65 years. 

How does this set-up contribute to 
giving telephone users the kind of 
service they want? One way to an- 
swer the question is to list some of 
the things that people have made it 
clear they want, and then consider 
Western's work in relation to each. 

First of all, the average person 
wants his service installed as promptly 
as possible after he has ordered it. 

When he uses his telephone, he 
wants connections to go through 

He wants to hear easily regardless 
of distance. 

He wants dependable service — 
steady and reliable. 

He would like the service to show 
continuous imptovement — to be "up- 
to-date" and not behind the proces- 

And of course he wants his bill to 
be as low as possible. 

Meeting these wants and expecta- 
tions is naturally the purpose of all 
branches of the Bell System. But for 
the moment, let's just consider West- 
ern Electric's contribution. 

Providing Service as Promptly 
as Possible 

Having Western a part of the Sys- 
tem has helped tremendously to get 
service to people as fast as possible. 
Experience since the war is a good 

In this post-war period the Bell 
companies have faced an ov^erwhelm- 
ing demand for service — the greatest 
in history. And in response to this 
demand they have added far more 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


As part of its post-war expansion to meet its responsi- 
bilities to the Bell System, Western Electric doubled its 
installation of cabling machines such as this, each 
costing $iyy,ooo. The one pictured here is twisting i8 
cable units into the core of an i8i8-pair cable 

telephones than ever before — about 
nine million in three years. 

This is really a staggering achieve- 
ment. To accomplish it, the compa- 
nies have had to obtain and install 
enormous quantities of central office 
and outside plant apparatus and 
equipment, in addition to the tele- 
phones themselves. It is true that, 
in spite of all our efforts, many cus- 
tomers have had to wait. But it is 
also true that we have served millions 
of people far more rapidly than we 
could possibly have done if the Sys- 

tem had not had its own 
manufacturing and sup- 
ply company. 

After the war a very 
great — and very fast — 
expansion of manufactur- 
ing facilities was needed 
to push the production 
of telephone equipment 
up to unheard-of quanti- 
ties. Just suppose that 
the System had had to 
rely on outside manu- 
facturers. They would 
have had to weigh care- 
fully the long-run risk 
to themselves in ex- 
panding to meet our cur- 
rent needs. They would 
have had to balance their 
other opportunities, and 
the wants of their other 
customers, against the 
wants of the Bell com- 
panies. It is inconceiv- 
able that they would 
have been willing, to the 
same degree or with the 
same speed, to plunge 
into the gigantic task 
that Western Electric 
Western met the problem head-on. 
It immediately expanded manufactur- 
ing facilities and took all the risks 
required to push production up. The 
result was that it speedily broke all 
previous production records by a 
wide margin. By 1947 it was turning 
out more than five times as much dial 
central office equipment as in an av- 
erage year before the war, nearly ten 
times as many manual switchboards, 
and more than three times as much 
cable and wire. Such performance 
has enabled the operating telephone 


How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users 


companies to serve mil- 
lions of people much 
more quickly than would 
otherwise have been pos- 
sible. And if Western 
Electric were not a part 
of the Bell System, as 
the right arm is part of 
the body, it could not 
have thus accepted its re- 
sponsibility to take full 
part in the telephone job. 

Fast Connections and 
Clear Transmission 

When a person gets his 
telephone, he wants to 
be able to reach other 
people quickly and hear 
them easily, whether he 
calls a neighbor across 
the street or a cousin 
across the country. How 
does Western Electric 
help him to do so? Let's 

Take the dialing of a 
number. The housewife 
who is calling the local 
grocer probably hasn't 
the faintest idea that by 
the time she hears the dial tone — 
even before she turns the dial — an 
astonishing number of electrical con- 
nections have been set up in perfect 
sequence, and with remarkable speed, 
so that she may proceed to make the 
call. When the number is dialed, the 
switching contacts established during 
the next few seconds may run into 
the thousands. The movement of 
moving parts must be rapid, sure, 
precise. Contacts must be perfect. 
Control must be exact. 

Since all parts of the telephone sys- 

W est em Electric s ability to speed equipment to repair 
the ravages of disaster contributes immeasurably to the 
dependability of Bell System service. This picture 
shows 15 tons of wire and other material being loaded for 
delivery by air to a storm-stricken area 

tem are interconnected, every part 
must be in balance — in tune — with 
every other. The telephone system 
is like an orchestra with millions of 

On the housewife's local call, the 
currents that flow through the train 
of connections are infinitely delicate 
and must be kept "just so" all along 
the line — and this would be true 
whether the call traveled two miles, 
or for two thousand or more. 

The way a pair of wires is fastened 
on a pole 20 miles east of Boise, 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Idaho, helps to determine how well 
Mrs. John Doe of Walla Walla, 
Washington, can hear her son who 
is calling her from Tiptonville, Ten- 

When the temperature drops 20 
degrees in Amarillo, Texas, the boy 
in Los Angeles says to the girl in 
New York, "Darling, your voice is 
so wonderful" because a tiny device 
that took years to perfect is built into 
the line and is automatically compen- 
sating for the effect of temperature 
changes on the flow of current. 

These examples illustrate the point 
that to provide fast telephone serv- 
ice, with good "hearability," the 
equipment used must be of the high- 
est quality and built to exact, uniform 
standards. And as a practical mat- 
ter, the design, manufacture and op- 
eration of standard telephone equip- 
ment can be best accomplished when 
the designers, the makers, and the 
operating people work closely and 
continuously together on the same 

This might be less important if 
the equipment needed were all very 
simple, or were non-specialized in 
character. But it isn't simple, and 
it's highly specialized. To make it 
rightly — to make it when and as 
needed — to make it as economically 
as possible — requires the undivided 
interest and attention of the maker, 
as well as his utmost skill. Likewise, 
the equipment must be. economical to 
use and easy to maintain, and the 
manufacturer cannot cut corners on 
quality for the sake of reducing his 
costs or increasing profits. The full- 
est and free-est exchange of informa- 
tion between designer, maker, and 
user — with nothing held back because 
of differences of financial interest — 

is an important part of the process. 
This identity of interest and single- 
ness of purpose assure the production 
of high quality, standard equipment 
as no other manufacturing arrange- 
ments could. They are the best guar- 
antee that Mr. and Mrs. Customer, 
when they reach for the telephone, 
will have at their disposal the kind 
of apparatus needed for fast service 
and easy-to-hear conversation. 

Service That Is Dependable 

Top-quality equipment is also of 
the greatest importance in keeping 
telephone service dependable and 
free from interruption. In addition. 
Western Electric plays a vital part 
in maintaining and restoring service 
when emergencies occur. Looking 
back only a few years, we have had 
hurricanes in the East and South, 
devastating sleet storms from the At- 
lantic Coast to the Northwest, tor- 
nadoes, floods, explosions and fires 
in the Middle West and Southwest, 
floods on the Pacific Coast. In every 
case, the work of Western Electric 
in rushing equipment to the scene of 
action has immeasurably aided the 
task of restoring service. 

This is partly because Western, as 
a unit of the Bell System, maintains 
a coast-to-coast warehousing and dis- 
tributing organization which is set up 
especially to meet the day-to-day 
needs of the telephone companies for 
apparatus and materials. These na- 
tionwide stocks of supplies are in- 
valuable when emergencies occur. So 
too is the fact that Western Electric 
equipment is standardized, and that 
uniform methods for installing, re- 
pairing, and operating it are known 
to Bell System people everywhere. 


How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users 


But important above all is this: 
The organization that delivers the 
equipment and the organizations that 
deliver the service have the same in- 
centives and the same goal, which is 
to meet the needs of Mr. and Mrs. 
Customer as well as they possibly 
can. The Western Electric people 
who fly a plane-load of wire halfway 
across the country to a tornado-torn 
city have the same idea as the tele- 
phone men who install it — to do 
swiftly and surely what the needs of 
the service require. Trucks, tools, ca- 
ble, wire, switchboards, poles, brains, 
arms and hands — from coast to coast 

— are all organized together to get 
the job done. It is because Western 
Electric and telephone people work 
together as partners that this is so. 

Helping to Introduce Service 

Telephone users expect their serv- 
ice to improve as time goes along, 
and so it has. The art of telephony 
is constantly advancing. Despite the 
problems caused by the war, our serv- 
ice today is infinitely better, more ex- 
tensive, more useful and more valu- 
able than 20 or 25 years ago. 

These Western Electric installers are at work on the world's largest No. 4 crossbar dial 
installation^ in New Yorky which will enable long distance operators there to reach 
subscribers' telephones in distant places directly , without the help of other operators along 
the way. Operator dialing of toll and long distance calls is a major service improvement 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


As particular improvements are in- 
troduced, a great variety of equip- 
ment — some newer, some older — 
must all work together in the tele- 
phone plant. This means that the 
manufacturer must be set up to pro- 
duce many different designs of appa- 
ratus. Most of these are made in 
small quantities; only a few in large 
quantities. To meet the Bell operat- 
ing companies' needs, Western Elec- 
tric turned out some 47,000 different 
designs in 1947, and is ready at any 
time to make almost as many more 
for replacement or repair of appa- 
ratus already in use. This is quite 
different from the usual mass-produc- 
tion set-up, though mass-production 
methods are of course used in making 
the large-quantity items. 

The result is that the operating 
companies can take full advantage of 
the steady improvement in the tele- 
phone art; they can continuously and 
efficiently introduce new equipment 
that fits in and works well with the 
old, and can avoid making costly 
large-scale plant replacements ahead 
of the time when it is economical to 
do so. These economies to the tele- 
phone companies may mean a loss in 
business to Western Electric — for 
example, because fewer replacements 
may be needed in the future, or be- 
cause more service can be rendered 
with relatively less equipment. But 
in this way, Western helps the op- 
erating companies to get the most out 
of technological progress, and make 
the maximum improvements and sav- 
ings available to telephone users. 

This process of change calls for a 
great deal of very careful coordina- 
tion, and as the telephone plant be- 
comes more complex the need for co- 
ordination increases all the time. For 

instance, take the work that is now 
being done to provide equipment for 
operator dialing of toll and long dis- 
tance calls between New York and 
many other cities. At the present 
time work is going ahead on 94 or- 
ders for equipment in 46 central of- 
fices in the New York area alone, and 
on 190 more orders for equipment 
scheduled for installation in 98 other 
cities. All of this apparatus must 
be engineered, manufactured, and in- 
stalled to meet a cutover date. To 
do this job, Western Electric must 
have, and does have, intimate knowl- 
edge of Bell System plant every- 
where. And the end result, for tele- 
phone users, is better service. 

Keeping the Cost to the Customer 
As Low as Possible 

The last point in our list was that 
people want their telephone service 
to be reasonable in cost. The rela- 
tionship between Western Electric 
and the Bell System means that West- 
ern shares in the System policy of 
trying to give the best service at low- 
est cost. In fact, the basic reason 
why Western is a part of the System 
is to insure that the manufacturer will 
center on meeting the needs of the 
customer, rather than on doing busi- 
ness in the way that will be most prof- 
itable to the manufacturer. Types of 
equipment must be and are produced 
that result in operating economies to 
the telephone companies, and hence 
in economies to the user. That is the 
idea in a nutshell. 

Western Electric's prices to the 
Bell System companies are substan- 
tially lower than the prices charged 
by other manufacturers of telephone 
equipment. It is interesting too that 


How Western Electric Serves Telephone Users 


Western's prices to Bell customers 
since the war have gone up much less 
than the rise in prices generally. In 
June, 1948, Western's prices on the 
products it makes were up on the av- 
erage only 16 percent over the aver- 
age price level for Western-made 
products in the years 1935— 1939. 
This remarkably small increase is far 
less than the average rise of 75 per- 
cent in the prices of all manufactured 
goods. And it has been accomplished 
in spite of the fact that wage rates 
and raw material costs have greatly 

These facts point to the company's 
good faith and efficiency in carrying 
out a price policy that fits in with the 
over-all Bell System objective of good 
service at the lowest possible cost. 

Still another test of the reason- 
ableness of Western Electric prices 
is the company's profit record. 

Over the years the profits have 
been reasonable — very reasonable. 

In the entire period from 1925 
through 1947, Western earnings av- 
eraged 7 percent on its net invest- 
ment. This is the average of the 
good years, when earnings were 
higher, and the poorer years, when 
earnings were lower or losses were 
suffered. Compared with Western's 
7 percent average, in the same pe- 
riod the 50 largest manufacturing 
companies in the country, operating 
in competitive markets, earned an av- 
erage of 8.7 percent on net invest- 

Another way to look at profits in a 
manufacturing and distributing busi- 
ness is as a percentage of total sales. 
During the period 1925— 1947, West- 
ern's earnings were only 3.5 percent 
of sales, compared with 5.8 percent 
for the 50 largest manufacturers. 

From the record, it appears that 
Western Electric profits have been no 
more than reasonable, and that the 
operating companies of the Bell Sys- 
tem have obtained at reasonable 
prices the equipment they need to 
give good telephone service. 

Summing Up 

This country does have the best 
telephone service in the world. One 
of the reasons for this is that West- 
ern Electric has so well carried out 
its functions and responsibilities as a 
part of the Bell System. Under this 
arrangement : 

— telephone service has been pro- 
vided to the greatest number of 
people with the greatest possible 

— equipment of the highest quality, 
precision, and durability has been 
manufactured to uniform stand- 

— the reliability of telephone service 
has been enhanced and emergen- 
cies have been met with unusual 

— full advantage has been taken of 
scientific progress in an orderly and 
economical way 

— prices and profits of the supply 
company have been kept reason- 
able and the cost of service to the 
user held down. 

This has all been accomplished 
through the operations of a manu- 
facturing and supply organization 
working not toward a separate end 
of its own but as a unit of the Sys- 
tem and toward the same end as the 
telephone companies — the satisfac- 
tion of people everywhere who use 
our service. 

A Program to Enable Bell System Women to Discover Within 

Themselves Interests and Resources through Which to Enrich 

Their Eives Is Actively in Progress 

A Design for Living 

Theresa E. Boden 

Health is not merely the absence of illness. Body, mind, and spirit 
form the whole being, and to be healthy, a person must be happy. 
To be happy, an individual needs some variety of interests, and it 
is toward discovering these that the Design for Living program is 
directed. Through Design for Living may be developed a more 
nearly self-sufficient person, free from the frustrations and emo- 
tional imbalances which, we recognize today, contribute seriously 
to many illnesses. We in the medical field believe that personnel 
activities such as Miss Boden describes are an integral and impor- 
tant part of a program of preventive medicine which should be 
our greatest contribution to the business. 

Melville H. Manson, M.D. 
Medical Director, A. T. & T. Co. 

The need for social growth of the The story of "A Design for Liv- 
individual, and for the achievement ing — Program for Self-Develop- 
of personal satisfactions, is being rec- ment" is the story of how the Bell 
ognized today as a fundamental ele- System has pioneered in providing 
ment in the sum total of life's fulfill- opportunity for its 400,000 and more 
ment. Some individuals reveal the women to discover the talents and re- 
need in a pattern of living which lacks sources within themselves which en- 
zest, enthusiasm, and real happiness, able them to get more out of life and 
Others bring their frustrations and to be successful in their relations with 
conflicts to work with them. Some others. 

are vaguely conscious of inner re- The program consists, in skeletal 

sources but lack the incentive or outline, of a series of ten weekly 

knowledge to explore. The search is meetings, at each of which a small 

for a satisfying pattern of life. group of ten or a dozen persons sit 

A Design for Living 


Colorful publicity helps to get a Design for Living program off to a good start. The 

poster and the enrollment card were used in the Ohio company; the leaflets ( from top to 

bottom) in the New York, Chesapeake & Potomac, and Michigan companies 

around a conference table with a 
group leader and discuss a selected 
topic of common interest. In the 
process of discussion occurs the 
search for, and appraisal of, individ- 
ual potentialities. A plan for self- 
development takes on additional 
meaning and shape with each discus- 

How enthusiastically our women 

have responded to this program may 
be gathered from some of the com- 
ments overheard throughout the Sys- 

Says a young commercial repre- 
sentative: "So many ideas hatch and 
are buried; enthusiasms lose them- 
selves unless there is a means of ex- 
pressing them and following them up. 
Design for Living furnishes that 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Design For Living Activity Introduced 

Group Leaders who recently attended a training conference held at the Shoreham Hotel, 
Washinfton, D. C, under the direction of Miss Frances C. Greene of the American Tele- 
phone and Telegraph Company take time oat to have their picture taken. These girls will 
introduce The Design for Living Activity in their respective departments. 
Standing, lef^u^^^^ess L. Murray, Washington, Dorothy^^.^igl|^£g8hington, Bild^ 

^^^^~" I ' if^fciiiltir— "- 

trained which will make it possible to 
take care of the large number of pend- 
ing requests for enrollment when new 
groups are started in the fall. 

In addition, group leaders will be 
available and anxious to assist any 
i lembers who are interested in fur- 
iicring their education on any of the 
. n topics included in the Design for 
i i\ing program or related subjects. 

If you are interested in this pro- 
gram or if you have any questions to 
ask, consult your supervisor. 

Want to see a dream of a dress? 
See "To the Ladies," page 26. 

The girls who were selected as Group 
Leaders in the "Design for Living" activity 
gave a tea at the close of their training con- 
ference last month. Mrs. L E. Shaw, General 
Accounting, Washington, is pouring while 
C. W. Chaney, Accounting Personnel As- 
sistant of the same department, looks on. 
Others in the group are Miss D. A. Fiala, 
Group Accounting, Mrs. H. M. Heaslej^ 
partroent, Charleston, W^ 

The introduction of a Design for Living program is usually announced in the company 

magazine. This page from the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies' 

^^Transmitter" is illustrative of that phase of publicity 

means." A more exuberant business 
office supervisor exclaims, "Why, 
this is the biggest thing that ever hit 
the Commercial Department"; to 
which another group member adds, 
"This program not only helps the 
individual but also promotes better 
employee relationships with all de- 

An accounting supervisor said she 
had joined A Design for Living 
group because "I heard the other 
girls say how much these discussions 
had helped them to meet people more 
easily, and to have more confidence 
in themselves. It did that very thing 
for me. Perhaps I show no improve- 
ment as yet, but the feeling I have 
within is certainly a satisfaction." A 
ticket sorter's remark that "It has 
given me a new outlook on life" rep- 
resents the conclusion of several hun- 
dred women who have been heard to 

tell what the course has done for 

An operator plans to do more 
reading because she "never knew be- 
fore what books meant in life," and 
she adds, "Now that I know how to 
express myself better, I'm going to 
be more at ease when I talk with peo- 
ple and I'm going to enjoy meeting 
people more." 

And this comment from a plant 
clerk seems to encompass the objec- 
tives and realizations it was hopeu 
the activity would provide : "The per- 
sonal satisfactions which these discus- 
sions have left me with have opened 
up another world to me. Now I 
want to do and see and go, whereas 
before I just seemed to live out a 

An explanation of the background 
and objectives of Design for Living 


A Design for Living 


Ways of reflecting personality through home planning 

and decoration have a strong appeal^ as these girls of the 

New Jersey Bell Telephone Company make evident 

will make clear why this program has 
been so important to these women. 

How It Began 

In 1939, a small committee was set 
up in the Personnel Relations De- 
partment of the American Telephone 
and Telegraph Company in New 
York to consider the many requests 
which were coming in from telephone 
women in the operating companies 
for courses of study which would pro- 
vide for effective use of leisure time. 
Women representatives 
were brought together 
from several of the 
companies in which ex- 
periments in self-devel- 
opment programs had 
already been started. 
What employees were 
searching for, this group 
believed, were means for 
discovering for them- 
selves their real needs 
and interests — a con- 
tinuing plan of indi- 
vidual self-development. 
To meet this desire, a 

program was developed 
for a series of discus- 
sions on topics which em- 
ployee requests showed 
to be of common inter- 
est and value. 

The Chesapeake and 
Potomac's attractive 

pamphlet "Let's Talk" 
describes these topics: 

Conversation : the 
art of making others 
feel "at home" with you. 
Speech: how to say 
what you mean; the im- 
portance of choosing the 
right words. 
Reading: how to get more fun 
out of the time you spend with books. 
Appearance: how to look your 
loveliest; ideas for choosing hats and 
hair-dos; your part in the fashion 

Etiquette : answers to your ques- 
tions on the social rules. 

Entertaining: how to be the 
perfect hostess; planning parties; 
menus that make a hit. 

Home Planning and Decora- 
tion : color harmony, fabrics, furni- 

f y<'i*; 











^ jx 




Color harmojiy and its part in harmonious living are an 

absorbing topic for this group of Southern Bell Telephone 

and Telegraph Company employees 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


ture; ideas for fixing 
over your apartment or 

Money Manage- 
ment: managing your 
money — so you don't 
spend more than you 

Vacations and 
Travel: vacation ideas; 
when to go and what to 
do with your holiday 
weeks and week-ends. 

Hobbies: share your 
favorite with others, or 
start something new. 

It is important to note that discus- 
sions, not lectures or talks, provide 
the media for self-expression. A 
group leader trained in the principles 
of conference-method technique con- 
ducts the discussions, and sound and 
constructive thinking is emphasized 
as the group members talk over their 
problems and needs. 

From September 1939 through Oc- 
tober 1 94 1, 11,000 women employees 
had completed the program. With 
the entry of the United States into 

Money management is a matter of first importance not 

only to men but to many women also — including these 

members of the Indiana Bell Telephone Company 

Pleasing arrangement of furniture in a room is demon- 
strated in miniature by this discussion group of Michigan 
Bell Telephone Company women 

the second world war, telephone 
women temporarily set aside their 
personal goals to give their free time 
and effort to the many war activities 
of those years. 

Early in 1945, the program was 
re-introduced throughout the System. 
Objectives and long-range accom- 
plishments were reconsidered in line 
with the Bell System's policy of offer- 
ing its resources to employees for all- 
around development and progress. 
The title "A Design for Living" was 
selected to further the 
idea that within this ac- 
tivity might be found the 
key to satisfying experi- 
ences. Each participant 
was to complete the de- 
sign according to her 
own needs and desires. 

Good Publicity Sets 
the Stage 

Some company maga- 
zines publicize the start 
of this activity with a 
well-illustrated article. 


A Design for Living 


Conclusion of a Design for Living program is usually the occasion for an event which 

offers gracious hospitality to invited guests. These hostesses for an evening are all 

Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company women 

This is usually timed with glamorous 
cover-girl "announcement" posters 
for office and recreation room bulle- 
tin boards. The pink and black "Do 
You Have A Design for Living?" 
from the Michigan Bell is an exam- 
ple. In several instances the ideas 
for posters and leaflets have been 
suggested and developed by employ- 
ees themselves. 

When it is evident that the pro- 
posed program will be attractive to 
the employee group, the leader may 
meet with groups and explain the 
program with the aid of pocket-sized 
folders which list the topics to be 
covered. These are frequently min- 
iatures of the poster, as in New 
York's "What Do You Do With 
Your Time?" A "Sign Me Up For 
Your Design For Living" enrollment 
card enabled Ohio Bell employees to 
indicate acceptance and a preference 
as to the time of meeting. The most 
recent development of this company 
has been the Commercial Depart- 

ment's slide film, "Your Time and 
My Time," which gives a quick pre- 
view of the course, stimulates inter- 
est, and helps to inform supervisory 
people. The Chesapeake and Po- 
tomac company confirms individual 
enrollments with a reminder card giv- 
ing day, date, hour, and room num- 
ber of the first discussion. This is 
signed by the group leader. 

A Group in Action 

Many different types and inter- 
ests are represented in A Design for 
Living discussion group. New em- 
ployees, some only a short time out 
of high school or college, exchange 
ideas with telephone "veterans." 

Some arc there because of their 
interest in one special topic. One 
supervisor, for instance, frankly ad- 
mits she wants to improve herself 
and a fleeting acquaintance with 
Shakespeare reminds her to "mind 
your speech a little lest it may mar 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


your fortune." Conversation, speech, 
reading — each suggests to her the key 
to further study, with the other seven 
topics helping to round out her plan. 

Other members in the group are 
perhaps for the first time learning 
that a good conversationalist is also 
a good listener; that the rules of con- 
versation as practiced are not limited 
to social occasions but can be used 
to express thoughts effectively at all 

Mending speech comes to mean ex- 
actly that to each of the twelve par- 
ticipants in this discussion. Each one 
begins to piece together, repair, and 
make as nearly new, whole, and per- 
fect as possible, the speech which has 
been damaged by carelessness, lack 
of thought, or lack of knowledge. 
Along with the mending comes the 
development of poise, self-confidence, 
and better judgment in forming opin- 
ions. Here, too, begins the inter- 
est in continued self-development 
through later enrollment in English 
classes, and in classes in voice culture 

and public speaking. Dramatics and 
choral work subsequently help pro- 
vide further stimulus for speech im- 

Some join a group to get better ac- 
quainted with other employees and 
to be with people. As discussions 
proceed, these persons find a mutual- 
ity of interests and needs which en- 
courages and promotes desirable re- 

A young bride wonders if Money 
Management will help her with her 
responsibility for making ends meet 
for two. .At the same time eleven 
other members of the group begin 
to see that the secret of wise spend- 
ing is careful planning, and that fam- 
ily or personal budgets which help 
to establish financial independence 
also help to strengthen character and 
self-respect. From piggy-banks to 
company savings plans, the group 
talks over its rainy-day problems, be 
they of today or tomorrow. 

Older employees, becoming aware 
of the narrow groove of living which 

The qualities of leadership are fostered and developed during a two weeks' training course 

of discussion-group leaders. These members of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph 

Company represent all that company's areas 


A 'Design for Living 


a routine of many years' standing has 
established, hope to find the how and 
where of new interests. Each one of 
the group, hearing what the other is 
doing, what she would like to do, be- 
gins to recognize the possibilities 
within herself for more satisfying ex- 
perience. "I haven't enough time," 
"It costs too much," "I don't know 
how to get started," are some of the 
stumbling blocks which a group in 
action help to solve. 

In the discussion on hobbies, the 
conclusion is reached that hobbies — 
interests, whatever you wish to call 
the wise use of leisure time — mean 
interesting friends, the joy of creat- 
ing, the satisfaction which comes 
from the discovery and use of abili- 
ties heretofore unrecognized: the 
completion of a design for living. 

And so it is with each of the ten 
discussions. Appearance gives each 
group member an opportunity to re- 
late her progress in self-development 
to sound standards of good taste in 

dress and general appearance. How 
to dress well on any budget acquires 
meaning through the additional use 
of attractive exhibits. Color, line, 
and texture are experimented with 
by each member — with group con- 
sensus a powerful stimulus to accept- 

Etiquette and Entertaining suggest 
that a knowledge of good manners 
under all circumstances gives one 
poise and self-confidence. Consid- 
eration for others is stressed. "How 
should I introduce my supervisor to 
my mother?" "What is the correct 
way to interrupt a busy person?" 
"How can I entertain in such a small 
place without getting all 'fussed 
up'?" "When I go to the theatre, 
who goes down the aisle first?" 

A look-in on one of the discussions, 
with questions of this kind coming 
thick and fast for group considera- 
tion, reveals how tremendously im- 
portant is the need to possess social 
skills which help to establish what 

These discussion leaders of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada have to bear in mind 
the French and English cultures which exist side by side in many parts of the company's 



Bell Telephone Magazine 


one group member defined as "that 
certain manner." 

At the concluding discussion of the 
program — usually one covering the 
topic of most general interest, such 
as Hobbies or Vacations and Travel 
— guests are invited. This provides 
company executives with an excellent 
and interesting opportunity to ob- 
serve at first hand just what is being 
accomplished with, and by, the group. 
A Design for Living becomes some- 
thing real and not just "another 
course." Guests join the discussion. 
Plans for follow-up activities begin 
to take shape. A tea or informal 
buffet provides a final setting in which 
some of the newly acquired skills and 
graces are revealed. 

Group Leadership and Individual 

In a meeting of department heads 
of an operating company in which 

Design for Living has been a con- 
tinuous activity since 1945, a general 
commercial manager expressed the 
opinion that the development of su- 
pervisory people might advantage- 
ously include training in and experi- 
ence with group leadership In this 
activity. He felt that the full-time 
effort which a number of women in 
his organization had given to this 
work was being reflected in their at- 
titudes, efficiency, and job relation- 

In many companies, general traffic 
managers have acknowledged the 
contribution which group leader ex- 
perience has made to the total effort 
of developing latent ability and tal- 
ent. Because of this, consideration 
is being given in one company to hav- 
ing potentially able women devote 
several months to full-time work as 
group leaders. These leaders take 
an average of six or more separate 

When several girts who had completed the Design for Living program of the Illinois Bell 
Telephone Company expressed interest in Christmas gift-wrappings group leaders 
obtained professional instruction and then passed along to their groups the skill they 

had acquired 


A 'Design for Living 


The ten discussions which make up the Design for Living ■program are often extended by 
the members' own special interest in some one of the original topics. These culinary 
enthusiasts of the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania were pictured during their 

fifth cooking lesson 

groups through a complete series of 

A recent comment received from a 
newly appointed chief operator gives 
further weight to the value which 
some women have attached to their 
experience as a group leader: "I am 
so thrilled over my promotion. I 
don't think I could do it if I hadn't 
been a group leader; for it helped me 
so much to know how to express my- 
self, to use good English, and to give 
me the confidence you need in a big 

During the past three years, 790 
women representing twelve operating 
companies and all departments have 
received group leader training. 

This training is received in a two 
weeks' conference conducted by an 
A. T. & T. Company representative, 
or else by a company training leader 
who has originally received her train- 
ing from the A. T. & T. representa- 

Training is concerned especially 
with the general principles of con- 
ference leadership, with study and 
practice in using the technique. It 
provides sufficient background infor- 
mation on the content of the ten 
topics of the program to enable 
the leader to stimulate and provoke 
worth-while discussion. It gives 
practice in outlining and organizing 
written material and lines of thought. 
The leader receives an introduction 
to the principles of the listening tech- 

Since most group leaders must as- 
sume also the responsibility for local 
arrangements for introducing the ac- 
tivity to both managerial and em- 
ployee groups, the training confer- 
ence includes detailed information 
about and suggestions for publicity, 
planning, recruiting, and arrange- 
ments ior group meetings. This re- 
quires a knowledge of lines of or- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


The use of community facilities 
requires an understanding of good 
public relations, judgment, tact, and 
poise; for this involves visits or 
other contacts with libraries, schools, 
adult education groups, museums, 
and other organizations, together 
with the preparation of reference 
material, exhibits, models, and other 
visual aids for use during weekly 
discussions. These qualities are en- 
couraged and developed to every 
possible extent during the initial 
training of the leaders and later on 
through a planned program of direc- 
tion and guidance. 

The coordination of the work of 
department group leaders on a com- 
pany-wide basis is usually one of the 
functions of the woman member of 
the general personnel staff. 

The excellent performance and 
leadership of the group leaders 
throughout the Bell System have 
been a major contribution to the suc- 
cess of the program. 

Following Through 

In the Commercial Department 
program of the Ohio Bell Company 
this fall, for example, more than 
twenty new projects and topics in the 
company's out-of-hour activities' pro- 
gram are under way. They give 
proof of the variety of interests and 
needs of the women who, in a two- 
year period, have found through A 
Design for Living new meanings to 

Their discussions on books and 
reading, current events, public speak- 
ing classes, book reviews, provide 
continuing opportunity for those who 
seek mental stimulation. 

Other women are developing new 
appreciation of the arts, and their 

latent abilities in these arts, through 
extended courses in music apprecia- 
tion, dramatic expression, and vari- 
ous group art work. 

Classes in millinery, basic dress- 
making, tailoring, silvermaking, 
leathercraft, enable them to wear 
beautiful and budget-minded crea- 
tions of their own making and de- 
sign and to augment their wardrobes 
with attractive accessories. 

Their homes are being enriched 
with lovely and useful products of 
classes in ceramics and with a new 
knowledge of interior decorating. 
Household tips and aids and flower 
arranging help to give added interest 
and charm. 

Socially, many are finding new 
poise and entertainment in bridge and 
dancing classes. For the athlete, 
golf, swimming, ice skating, and cal- 
esthenics provide companionship and 

Many of these Ohio programs 
draw upon the initiative and inge- 
nuity of the telephone women them- 
selves in addition to making full use 
of community resources and facilities. 
An employee who had worked in a 
florist shop during school years con- 
ducts the class in flower arranging. 
Another teaches bridge; another, knit- 
ting. Outside speakers lead the dis- 
cussions on book reviews and conduct 
the public-speaking classes. Expert 
private instructors teach jewelrymak- 
ing, leathercraft, and tailoring. 

Last spring a highly successful 
minstrel show illustrated in one pack- 
age the many talents represented in 
a Design for Living group. The 
artists in the group contributed color- 
ful posters and invitations. One per- 
son with a literary bent wrote and 
directed the show. Another trained 


A 'Design for Living 


the chorus. Most of the 
costumes were designed 
and created by the girls 
themselves. More than 
thirty girls participated 
— and they played to a 
full house ! 

Much of what is tak- 
ing place in Ohio is 
being duplicated — with 
some interesting varia- 
tions — in the other com- 
panies in which the pro- 
gram is operating. 

In the Southern New 
England and New York 
companies, local com- 
munity adult education 
groups and schools are 
cooperating by arranging 
special classes for telephone employ- 
ees. Arrangements are made for se- 
lected subjects of interest to tele- 
phone people and at hours convenient 
for their attendance. 

In the Illinois Bell Company, 
groups plan a program of adventures 
with food by visiting out-of-the-ordi- 
nary local restaurants, each time com- 
bining a taste treat and fun with a 
search for new ideas for entertaining. 
Food preparation and planning dem- 
onstrations have been a popular ac- 
tivity in the Bell of Pennsylvania. 

In Michigan, group leaders, in con- 
sultation with various airlines, pre- 
pared lists of vacation suggestions 
and descriptive movies designed to 
meet a range of interests, pocket- 
books, and time allowances. One re- 
sult was that fifteen girls signed up 
for a ten-day trip to Havana at a 
very attractive price. 

In the New Jersey Bell Company, 
demonstrations in hair styling and 
cosmetic application and fashion 

When these girls of the Ohio Bell Telephone Company 
decided to carry on with lessons in dressmakings they 
refused to be deterred by the fact that a Commercial office 
was for the time-being the only available space where 
they could receive instruction after business hours 

shows have attracted widespread in- 

In the Pacific Company, a tea and 
reception for a retiring executive was 
planned and arrangements were car- 
ried out by Design for Living groups. 
Three thousand people attended this 
party. Many compliments were re- 
ceived by the group for the delight- 
ful and effective way in which the 
affair was conducted. 

The telephone women's clubs of 
the different state divisions of the 
Southern Bell Company have a mul- 
tiplicity of activities. They serve 
as a connecting link with Design 
for Living by providing the chan- 
nels through which most of the fol- 
low-up activities develop and operate. 
Among these are the choral clubs 
which perform with local community 
music groups. Study clubs draw 
large enrollments each season. Ba- 
zars which provide the funds for 
many telephone charity projects and 
call forth a great deal of individual 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Mackgwund Keading 

IHCKt.ROl ND hr\I)ING tht l')*-J" K<\i.i\% cuHrsc, has l).?cn ph!«K(i ixtause 
of the mlttut uf f m uin'o (iffrtbt b t m hifitiirc. 

This IS i M 21, vt< a Irtt of s n i ♦! f i t ii v .iioiis fi«!ds «f good teadicg. Hie)- 
liHf!(«i )u<ii5 tfiiturtu a i!i„hU!ity. 

I ft th i " 11 (r>i I, if (x' u will ^ on J ^he door to more i's;t<nisive reading of 
! J. U 1 1' I \t d m t! I- tn I Ucitis< of I's !iittt«! length. 

fh bP •' )> k , u \u !i to ri.d fino t>e fin»Kii>g!ists andcheckthcinontlte 
ba k p I 1 <r Ihf 1 fT Old 'n p it ii. tlu f oruiMny mail with your ikusm- and 

1' ompiin idi s 111 n ^ !1 * t ibif vu rex t^ the fjooks, one at a timi?, as they 

Several company libraries 
have integrated their ac- 
tivities with the Design for 
Living program 

Here are the cover {right) 
and introductory page 
{above) of a booklet of 
reading lists issued by 
the Employees^ Library 
of the Southern New Eng- 
land Telephone Company 

talent and ingenuity are a part of 
tiie program. 

In the Bell Telephone Company 
of Canada, where French culture and 
traditions are deeply rooted along- 
side those of England, the Design 
for Living activity has presented an 
unusual challenge. Interest in con- 
tinuing self-development has been 
high. One interesting project has 
been the preparation of a thirty-five 
page French bibliography with an 
English supplement, covering every 
topic discussed in the program. This 
was prepared by the Toronto and 
Montreal public libraries in coopera- 
tion with the supervising group lead- 

Three other broad developments 
which have received their chief stim- 

ulus from this System-wide activity 
have also attracted attention. 

In 1947, arrangements were made 
for the secretaries or hobby commit- 
tee chairmen of the Pioneer chapters 
to provide information and assistance 
to group leaders in the development 
of common hobby interests and ac- 

Integration of company library fa- 
cilities with the Design for Living 
activity has been accomplished in sev- 
eral companies. The librarians of 
the Pacific, Bell of Canada, and 
Southern New England companies 
have performed a great service to 
employees of these companies in help- 
ing them to develop good reading 
habits. In Indiana, the Indianapolis 
Public Library has provided the serv- 


A Design for Living 


ices of a librarian who spends two 
days a week on company premises. 
The formation of small local com- 
pany libraries in other parts of the 
System is being encouraged because 
of the needs of employees arising out 
of the self-development activity. 

Several independent telephone com- 
panies have been interested in the De- 
sign for Living activity. The train- 
ing in group leadership as well as the 
personal satisfactions arising out of 
group member activity have been 
mentioned as of particular interest. 
Some of the Associated Companies 
have cooperated with the independ- 
ent companies by providing the initial 
training of group leaders. 

A Summing Up 

The Design for Living program 
is growing. It is the employees' own 
program, designed by and for them. 
A true evaluation of results must 
recognize the weight of intangibles. 
Some of these are the new horizons 
which are being opened to many in- 
dividuals whose desire for self-ex- 
pression has been bogged down in 
what it is now fashionable to call 

frustration. People with interests 
seldom have time to be frustrated. 

Poise, initiative, self-confidence, 
and self-assurance come from know- 
ing the how, when, and what in vary- 
ing situations. These are some of 
the social skills which have been fos- 
tered through group activity. Its 
concomitant has been a high group 

Equally important has been the 
small but nevertheless highly signifi- 
cant contribution to the development 
of sound, constructive thinking among 
many individuals upon whom the 
leadership of the future will in all 
probability fall. It is trite to say 
that the person who understands why 
a thing is said is more likely to listen 
to what is said. This is the kind of 
understanding which these group dis- 
cussions, regardless of topic, have 
helped to develop. 

Since 1945, 30,000 women have 
sat around conference tables work- 
ing out for themselves a design for 
living. They are of the well-rounded 
employee group who give day-to-day 
proof that these activities can add 
zest and richness to busy lives. 

Telephone City 

All the buildings in the im- 
aginary city pictured on the op- 
posite page are Bell System 
buildings. What is more, they 
are all either new, erected since 
the end of the war, or buildings 
to which major additions have 
been made during that period. 
Each is either already completed 
or will be substantially com- 
pleted — with one or two excep- 
tions — by the end of this year. 
There are 392 buildings in the 
picture. Although the city is 
imaginary, they are not : each 
represents an actual structure, 
and each is drawn to scale. In- 
cluded are all the major build- 

ing projects since the war; yet 
those represented are only one- 
seventh of the total number 
erected during that time. About 
2400 smaller structures are 
omitted, simply because it wasn't 
practicable to include them all. 
Types pictured include cen- 
tral-office buildings, toll build- 
ings, community dial offices, 
radio buildings, repeater sta- 
tions, office buildings, headquar- 
ters buildings. Those pictured 
represent $175,000,000. This 
is about 60 percent of the Bell 
System's post-war building con- 
struction program. 


Method and Rfficiency Are Requisites of a Task Which 

Constitutes the Largest Work-volume Job of the System s 

Revenue Accounting Forces 

Sorting Two-and-a-Half 
Billion Tickets a Year 

Fredric M. Biathrow and 
F. Raymond Brewster 

Almost every business, large or 
small, has a problem of sorting. It 
may be the simple job of sorting a 
few hundred or thousand cancelled 
bank checks or drafts received with 
a bank statement; it may be sorting 
department store charge tickets; in 
the case of the banks themselves, it 
may be sorting depositors' checks and 
checks for clearing or transit. In 
the telephone business, the Bell Sys- 
tem operating companies are con- 
fronted with the huge problem of 
sorting 2^^ billion telephone tickets 
annually. While this enormous quan- 
tity of tickets does not pile up in any 
one place or at any one time, the job 
of sorting them requires currently up- 
wards of three thousand Accounting 
Department clerks to spend about 
5,000,000 hours annually to get the 
job done. 

Each morning, telephone tickets 

written at local and toll switchboards 
for messages completed on the previ- 
ous day are picked up according to 
predetermined routes and schedules 
by truck or messenger or are placed 
in the U. S. mail, and are delivered 
to the accounting offices, of which 
there are now 93, located through- 
out the United States and in the east- 
ern part of Canada. 

These tickets are not just slips of 
paper. They represent cash : over 
one billion dollars of it annually, 
which is an important part of the 
Bell System's annual revenue. 

It is the billing of this revenue that 
creates the necessity for sorting the 
tickets into a definite order. It has 
been found from experience that in 
keeping the 26,000,000 customers' 
accounts for telephone service, the 
simplest and most economical plan 
is to have the records arranged in 

Sorting Two-and-a-Half Billion Tickets a Year 

^' 165 

telephone-number order separately 
for each central-office designation, 
e.g., Jonesville, Main 2, Market 3, 
and so on. The customers' accounts 
for each designation are then ar- 
ranged in telephone-number sequence. 
The sorting problem, therefore, is to 
arrange the great volume of tickets 
received each day into the same tele- 
phone-number sequence in which the 
accounts are kept, in order to per- 
form the billing in the most efficient 

Not only must this sorting job be 
done, but it must be so planned that 
the work will be completed and ready 
for further processing so that the bill- 
ing clerks may complete customers' 
bills promptly according to scheduled 
bill release dates. This sorting job 
is the first step in a chain of opera- 
tions that culminate with the mailing 

of the customer's toll service state- 
ment with his monthly bill. Ineffi- 
cient methods or poor administration 
of this job could result, obviously, in 
the loss of many thousands of hours 
of time and in wasted and fatiguing 

In the early days of telephone his- 
tory, the use of toll service was not 
extensive. The relatively few toll 
tickets required to record the out-of- 
town calls made could be handled 
without any special studies to deter- 
mine the most efficient method of 
sorting them. But now, with the ex- 
tensive use of toll service, this one 
operation is the largest work-volume 
job performed by the revenue ac- 
counting forces of the System. 

Early in 1946 an intensive study 
was made of two methods of sorting; 
the so-called "desk method," used by 

T)esk sorting of tickets requires the handling of each ticket four times: once for each digit. 
The ''two-handed" method is shown here 

1 66 

Bell Telephone Magazine 


most of the System companies, and 
a method referred to as the "rack 
method," which was followed by a 
few of the companies; — including the 
New England Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company, where the rack 
method had been developed to the 
extent of producing outstanding re- 
sults. As a result of this study, 
which included the introduction of 
the rack method in certain account- 
ing offices of the New York Tele- 
phone Company for comparative 
tests with the desk method, the rack 
sorting method and technique were 
recommended for general use. All 
System companies are now using the 
rack method of sorting on all or part 
of their ticket sorting job. It is esti- 
mated that when the method is com- 
pletely installed, it will have effected 
a reduction of 2,500,000 work hours 
a year — of which approximately one 
million has already been realized. 
In addition to this advantage, sort- 
ing clerks changing from the desk to 
the rack method generally report the 
rack method more interesting and 
less fatiguing. 

The Desk- Sorting Method 

In the early 1920s the sorting of 
tickets began more and more to be 
transferred from the Traffic Depart- 
ment to the Accounting Department, 
and the concentration of this opera- 
tion became an increasingly impor- 
tant segment of revenue accounting 

The method of sorting followed 
an obvious pattern. 

As a first step, certain types of tick- 
ets which reached the revenue ac- 
counting offices with two or more 
central-office designations intermin- 
gled required the simple sorting of 

the tickets into the different designa- 

The next step was the numerical 
sorting for each central office; and, 
since telephone numbers consist of 
not more than four digits (with mi- 
nor exceptions) and a party-line let- 
ter (where used), the successive steps 
in the numerical sorting were to sort 
the tickets separately for each of the 
four digits beginning at the left, that 
is, by thousands, hundreds, tens, and 
units. This was accomplished on an 
ordinary desk or table by holding in 
the left hand a small portion of the 
unsorted tickets and picking them off 
one by one with the right hand and 
placing them on the desk or table in 
a double row of five piles, one pile 
for each thousand digit. 

Thus, when the unsorted tickets 
had been so processed according to 
the first left-hand digit, they were in 
order by thousands. These ten piles 
were then laid aside and the tickets 
for each thousand digit were then 
similarly sorted by hundreds. Each 
of these hundred digit packs was then 
sorted by tens and each of the ten 
digit packs by units. By sorting the 
tickets successively according to the 
digits from left to right, they became 
sorted into complete numerical se- 

The complete numerical sorting 
process required not only handling 
most of the tickets four separate 
times, but also considerable picking 
up of the ten piles in each of the 
separate sortings and, where the tick- 
ets for a given central office were 
voluminous, a constant straightening 
of the piles to prevent them from tip- 
ping and becoming disarranged. 

Under a later variation of the desk 
method of sorting, a pack of unsorted 


Sorting Two-and-a-Half Billion Tickets a Year ,^ 167 

Since each rack has 100 numbered pockets ^ the tickets need to be sorted only twice: by the 
last two digits and then by the first two 

tickets was placed on the desk directly 
in front of the clerk, who, using her 
hands alternately, picked the tickets 
from the unsorted pack and placed 
them in ten piles arranged around the 
unsorted tickets and as close as prac- 
ticable, to avoid an unduly long reach. 
This process was repeated for each 
of the four digits, as previously de- 
scribed. It, too, required the han- 
dling of the tickets four separate 
times, but it utilized both hands 
rather than only one hand in getting 
the tickets from the unsorted pack to 
the proper numerical pile. 

This so-called "two-handed" sort- 
ing operation looks complicated at 
times, since it involves some cross- 
hand movement when, for example, 
the left hand is moving to the ex- 
treme right to place a ticket on the 
"9" pile while the right hand is pick- 
ing up a ticket and starting it toward 

the extreme left to place it on the 
"o" pile. 

The Rack-Sorting Method 

The next improvement in sorting 
methods was made by the Chesa- 
peake and Potomac Telephone Com- 
panies, and involved the development 
and use of a rack to aid in the sorting. 
They also developed a sequence of 
sorting operations which is described 
later. The original rack was made 
by a local tinsmith and, while a num- 
ber of refinements have been made in 
construction, the present-day rack is 
fundamentally the same as the orig- 

The rack is comprised of two cabi- 
nets, hung on either side of a stand. 
Each cabinet consists of two 50- 
pocket sorting sections, and one 10- 
compartment section located above 
the top row of sorting pockets and 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


An instructor emphasizes the importance 
unsorted tickets in the correct position i 

of holding the 
n the hand 

used to store tickets awaiting sort- 
ing and for overflow from individual 
pockets. The lower section of each 
cabinet can be closed and latched 
against the upper section, thereby 
providing an orderly and reasonably 
safe method of temporarily storing 
tickets prior to their removal from 
the rack after the completion of the 
sorting operation. The sorting sec- 
tions, combined, have ten vertical and 
ten horizontal rows of pockets. The 
vertical rows are numbered across the 
top from left to right, beginning with 
zero. The horizontal rows are num- 
bered up the sides and center of the 
cabinet, the lowest numbers being as- 
signed to the bottom row. Thus a 
sorting pocket is provided for each of 
the one hundred two-digit combina- 
tions "oo" to "99." 

For a considerable pe- 
riod after the first racks 
were put into use, the 
technique of sorting fol- 
lowed the hand move- 
ment pattern of the 
desk-sorting method first 
described, A pack of 
unsorted tickets was held 
in the left hand while 
the right hand picked 
them off one at a time 
and placed them in the 
proper sorting pocket. 
This involved consider- 
able hand travel, and 
also a constant shifting 
of the eyes between the 
unsorted tickets and the 
rack pockets. 

A study of this op- 
eration, based on prac- 
tices developed by the 
New England Company, 
showed that a substantial saving in 
time and a considerable lessening of 
eye strain and fatigue had been ac- 
complished by having the two hands 
move in unison; the left hand hold- 
ing the unsorted tickets and the right 
hand picking off the tickets and, with 
only a short movement, placing them 
in the proper pockets. 

The first step in the rack sorting 
operation is performed by referring 
to the last two digits of the telephone 
number, commonly referred to as the 
"right-hand sorting number," The 
sorting clerks soon become adept in 
locating the rack pocket correspond- 
ing to the right-hand sorting number 
and in rhythmically moving from one 
pocket to another, accomplishing the 
sorting with considerable rapidity. 
After all tickets for a given sort- 


Sorting Two-and-a-Half Billion Tickets a Year 


ing assignment have been 
placed in the rack pock- 
ets in the manner de- 
scribed, they are then 
removed in reverse se- 
quence order, i.e., "99" 
to "00," and then sorted 
according to the two left- 
hand digits, referred to 
as the "left-hand sorting 
number." By beginning 
the left-hand sort with 
the tickets in this ar- 
rangement and proceed- 
ing in descending se- 
quence to the double 
zero, the tickets, when 
removed from the pock- 
ets after the completion 
of the left-hand sort, are 
in complete numerical se- 
quence. The tickets are, 
as a consequence, sorted 
into complete telephone 
number order with only two han- 
dlings, as contrasted with the four 
handlings under the desk method. 

Sorti?ig for Billmg Periods 

Thus far we have described the 
sorting operation as it would be per- 
formed if the tickets for a single 
day's business were sorted into com- 
plete numerical sequence. However, 
it is not economical to complete the 
sorting of tickets for each individual 
day's business. That is because such 
an arrangement would require sev- 
eral rehandlings of all tickets, in a 
series of special assembling opera- 
tions, to bring together in chrono- 
logical order for a full billing pe- 
riod all tickets for each telephone 

Under the rack method, such 

Proudly on her own! A new sorting clerk puts into prac- 
tice her lessons on proper position of the hands 

special assembling work is entirely 
avoided for most central offices. 
This is done by sorting each day's 
tickets for a full billing period into 
the same racks according to the right- 
hand sorting number only. When the 
last date in the billing period has 
been sorted, the tickets for the earli- 
est date are at the bottom in each 
pocket. The regular secondary sort- 
ing of these tickets according to the 
left-hand sorting number then pro- 
duces directly the required numerical 
and chronological arrangement of 
the tickets for the full billing period, 
the earliest date being at the top, as 
it should be for billing purposes. 

For the larger central offices, 
where the volume of tickets may be 
too great to warrant deferring the 
sorting by the left-hand sorting num- 
ber until the end of the billing pe- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


This photograph of the set used in shooting the motion picture ''Sorting Toll Tickets'' 
illustrates what goes on behind the scenes to counterfeit reality. The three pictures on 
pages i6y, 168, and i6g are from this "movie" while the first picture {page i6§) is from 

"An Orchid for Peggy" 

riod, some intermediate sorting by 
the left-hand sorting number may be 
required — in which case some special 
assembling work, would be necessary. 
The rack method does, nonetheless, 
reduce substantially the number of 
times the tickets are handled, not 
only because of the sorting of two 
digits at a time but because of the 
elimination or reduction of the 
amount of special assembling time 

Instruction through Motion Picture 

The success of the racks is due net 
only to the device itself but in large 

degree to the use of the proper tech- 
nique in the handling of the tickets. 

It was first thought that this tech- 
nique could be described in writing 
with sufficient effectiveness to permit 
instructors to teach it successfully to 
sorting students. It soon developed, 
however, that this could not be sat- 
isfactorily achieved by depending on 
text alone to convey the exact man- 
ner of handling the tickets. 

Even though classes for super- 
visors and staff people were held with 
instruction from people skilled in the 
technique, it became evident that the 
process of transmitting this skill to 
the several thousand clerks required 


Sorting Two-and-a-Half Billion Tickets a Year 


for this work, and to the added thou- 
sands who would be employed over 
the months to replace those who re- 
signed or were promoted, would un- 
duly defer the realization of the 
important economies that could be 
effected. It would also be difficult 
to preserve the exact technique over 
a period of time because of changes 
in supervisory personnel. 

Methods people in the A. T. & T. 
Comptroller's Department had al- 
ready had experience with sound- 
motion pictures in meeting other tech- 
nical training problems, and it was 
decided to produce a picture which 
would provide demonstration by 
skilled sorting people. As a result, 
a training picture entitled "Sorting 
Toll Tickets" was produced with the 
assistance of the Film and Display 
Division of the A. T. & T. Informa- 
tion Department and was distributed 
to all Bell System companies. This 
picture provides expert effective visual 
aid for instructors' use in the account- 
ing offices. An Instructor's Guide 
was issued with the picture as an in- 
tegral part of the training program 
to assist instructors in the use of the 
film. Also, a set of 12 still pictures 
illustrating the key points in the sort- 
ing technique was prepared as an 
additional visual aid during training 
and to assist supervisors in correcting 
any sorting faults which might sub- 
sequently develop. The motion pic- 
ture has proved successful in provid- 
ing the offices with uniform expert 
instruction and demonstration of the 
precise technique which will produce 
the best results. 

Motion pictures produced with 
other objectives have been found use- 
ful also in providing demonstration 
of the performance of varfous op- 
erations. The Accounting Depart- 
ment film "An Orchid for Peggy" 
included several scenes in which the 
two-handed method of sorting tick- 
ets was clearly demonstrated — al- 
though the purpose of the picture 
was primarily to show the accounting 
clerks, especially those of short serv- 
ice, through the medium of a story 
treatment the importance of clerical 
assignments, such as ticket sorting, 
in the over-all job of giving telephone 
service. Another Accounting Depart- 
ment picture, "The Truth About An- 
gela Jones," now in production, while 
designed to bring out the need for 
clerks to do a quality job and to ac- 
cept the quality standards expected 
by the public, will include a sequence 
built around rack sorting and will 
incidentally show clearly the tech- 
nique of this method. 

Future developments may bring 
about changes in toll operations and 
in the recording of toll calls. Never- 
theless, as already stated, the present 
requirements are that 2^ billion 
tickets a year must be sorted numeri- 
cally and chronologically. This is 
in fact a stupendous job. Intensive 
study has resulted in a substantial 
saving in time and in making the op- 
eration more interesting to the per- 
sonnel, and it may be found by con- 
tinued study of the sorting processes 
that still further advances can be 

The Bell System s Motor Vehicle Safety Program Aims to 

Eliminate Personal Injuries and Make More Rfficient the 

Transportation of Men^ Tools, and Materials 

Promoting Safety in Our 
Automotive Fleet 

Rrle S. Miner 

The problem of fostering safe driv- 
ing has become increasingly impor- 
tant in the Bell System with the 
growth in traffic on the nation's 
streets and highways and in the num- 
ber of telephone company motor ve- 

The Bell System automotive fleet 
is the largest fleet of commercial ve- 
hicles in the world. These cars, 
trucks, and miscellaneous rolling 
stock cover some 600,000,000 miles 
a year. Traveling the normal dis- 
tance apart on the highway, they 
would make a continuous procession 
across the country from coast to 

It is no wonder, then, that the op- 
erators of telephone company ve- 
hicles who begin each day's work by 
driving onto the streets, roads, and 
highways from company garages lo- 
cated in towns and cities throughout 
the country recognize that they play 
an important part in demonstrating 
safe and courteous driving. It is a 

tribute to the sincere efforts of these 
employees, resolved to drive each 
mile during each day alert to the haz- 
ards of both vehicular and pedestrian 
travel, that their success has been 
demonstrated over and over again by 
excellent safety records. 

One widespread idea that has 
made the prevention of accidents 
unnecessarily difficult is the ground- 
less belief that motor vehicle acci- 
dents are the inevitable price we 
have to pay for technological prog- 
ress in transportation. Experience 
has proved that such accidents are 
preventable, and can be decreased by 
intelligent planning — just as in other 

As is generally known, organized 
fact collecting, analysis, planning, and 
practical application of findings have 
made possible real progress in gen- 
eral accident reduction in the Bell 
System. The same approach is be- 
ing applied to assure safe operation 
of the Bell System fleet. 

Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet 

^' 173 

The Old Way ... and the New 

Modern power equipment makes the telephone job less arduous, more efficient 

and safer 

The features which comprise such 
a comprehensive safety program in- 
clude : 

( 1 ) Improved selection, training, 
and supervision of drivers, and 
the maintenance of their interest 
and good attitude; 

(2) proper care of the vehicles 
through modern maintenance 
methods, and; 

(3) design of motor vehicles and 
equipment to best meet the 
needs of the business. 

Selection of Drivers 

The fleet consists of half-ton 
trucks, of which the installation type 
is representative; other trucks, rang- 
ing in size from three-quarter-ton 
load capacity up to 5- and even 10- 
ton capacity; and passenger cars for 
supervisors in the field. There are, 

in addition, trailers, pole-hole dig- 
gers, pole derricks, platform ladder 
trucks, tractors, bulldozers, air com- 
pressors, trenching machines, various 
kinds of wire and cable plows, and 
other miscellaneous types of vehicles. 
All these require operators trained 
and always alert to assure their safe 
and efficient operation. 

Most of the trucks and cars mak- 
ing up the Bell System fleet have for 
their main purpose the transportation 
of men, tools, and materials; and, in 
many cases, the provision also of 
power-operated devices for work on 
the job. Thus the employees who 
drive vehicles generally do so as only 
a part, but a very important part, of 
their regular telephone jobs. 

These employees are selected on 
the basis of being physically and 
mentally qualified after training to 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Bad weather creates hazardous driving conditions, which require watchful driving to 
overcome. Note the crew compartment behind the cab of this construction truck 

perform safely all the telephone 
tasks to which they will be assigned. 
The amount of driving each day by 
the many drivers necessarily varies 
widely with geographic conditions, 
job locations, and types of work. 
Nevertheless, special emphasis is 
placed on selecting employees who 
possess proper physical and mental 
qualifications and attitudes for devel- 
oping into satisfactory drivers. 

Physical examinations of new emr 
ployees who are to drive cars gen- 
erally devote special attention to eye- 
sight, hearing, heart and blood-pres- 
sure tests. Then initial road tests 
are usually given to help determine 
individual training requirements. 

In several companies, it has been 
found desirable to give drivers peri- 

odic physical examinations and road 
tests. Neither initial nor periodical 
examinations and tests given have 
been found to be a "cure-all" for mo- 
tor vehicle accidents; their primary 
purpose is to enable individuals to im- 
prove themselves as drivers by com- 
pensating for any weaknesses, not to 
deprive them of the privilege of driv- 
ing. Also, periodic testing of drivers 
calls to their attention physical de- 
fects which may be corrected, and, 
furthermore, heightens their interest 
in careful driving. 

The relatively few chauffeurs and 
drivers of the longer-mileage sup- 
ply and delivery trucks are usually 
given more rigid physical examina- 
tions than the drivers who operate 
vehicles shorter mileages as a part 


Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet 


of their regular jobs. Yet all ex- 
aminations and road tests must be 
sufficiently thorough to measure the 
individual's driving knowledge, skills, 
and attitudes, so that training and 
remedial measures may be initiated 
to offset any weaknesses revealed. 
The same general procedure which 
has been found to be essential in 
determining the training needs of em- 
ployees who are to become cable 
splicers, linemen, installers, switch- 
men, and other craftsmen, applies in 
the same way to finding out training 
requirements of the operators of the 
automotive fleet. 

Training Motor Vehicle Drivers 

The most important part of the 
fleet safety program, strongly justi- 

fied from humanitarian and economic 
points of view, is that of training. 
The need for training in safety is 
never ending. It begins when the 
employee enters the business, and 
should continue, as required, to the 
day he leaves the service. 

The method of training employees 
to drive company vehicles is usually 
governed by the number employed at 
one time in a particular location. In 
cities where centralized schools can 
be organized, new drivers receive the 
benefit of classroom instruction in 
addition to road tests and supple- 
mentary training under actual operat- 
ing situations. Under other condi- 
tions, all road tests and necessary 
training are given by supervisors or 
other qualified personnel. Many of 

Thorough inspection and maintenance of motor vehicles, in company garages from coast 
to coast ^ have a major share in the Bell System's safety program 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


the latter have completed supervisory 
training courses on safe driving es- 
tablished at over 30 colleges and 

The complete training of drivers 
is one of the major responsibilities 
of the supervisor. He must know 
what is taught at the Company 
schools; he must be familiar with 
each man's ability, attitude, and hab- 
its as a driver; and he must see that 
the training is done effectively if the 
safety program is to be successful. 

It is common practice to give "re- 
fresher" courses on a periodic basis, 
and seasonal reminders — being par- 
ticularly careful of children going 
to school and at play, and alert to 
winter driving hazards. Again, the 
method of giving this training de- 
pends upon the number of employees 
at a particular location. A usual 
method is to provide a suitable class- 
room and make full use of discussion 
and visual aids. Many excellent 
sound motion pictures and strip films 
are available and have been used ex- 
tensively. So have model demonstra- 
tion boards with miniature trucks 
and cars which portray in a realistic 
manner the causes of accidents and 
their prevention. Other training me- 

The tough part of the motor ve- 
hicle safety problem is that driving 
smoothly and safely for a block, for 
a mile, a day, a month, a year is not 
enough. Each driver must practice 
continuously the highest type of self 
control, must keep alert, must adjust 
his driving to meet traffic, road, and 
weather conditions. 

More than 60 percent of the System's motor 

vehicles are half-ton trucks^ of which the 

installation type is representative 

dia include blackboard illustrations, 
charts and diagrams, bulletin boards, 
posters, company magazines, monthly 
accident reports, and safety meetings. 

Not only is it necessary to be 
sure that regular operators of the ve- 
hicles are fully trained, but the sub- 
stitute drivers and the engineers and 
other employees who drive cars oc- 
casionally must also be safe, courte- 
ous, and efficient. It is also necessary 
to train construction forces in the 
safe operation of all the auxiliary mo- 
tor and power equipment — derricks, 
winches, cable plows, trailers, pole- 
hole diggers, tractors, trenching ma- 
chines, and others — enumerated pre- 

All this training of 75,000 regular 
and occasional Bell System drivers 
has further safety value, since it en- 
ables them to operate their own cars 
properly when off the job and thus 
add to the over-all safety on the 
streets, roads, and highways of the 

It has been said that a supervisor 
must be first of all a teacher. This 
includes not merely initial instruc- 
tion but "follow-up" — maintaining 
the employee's interest and correct 
attitude and many other things nec- 
essary to get results. The impor- 
tance of this is illustrated by one As- 


Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet 


sociated Company division that made 
a remarkable reduction in accidents 
after the foremen and other supervi- 
sors had been with their drivers on 
the road for a sufficient time to ob- 
serve the driving skills and habits 
of their men and had then re- 
trained them as required. This was 
a real application of the Bell System 
"Safety Observation Plan," * which 
has for its purpose the detection of 
unsafe practices and their correction 
before accidents occur. 

While the success of any safety 
program is usually a reflection of the 
interest maintained by management 
in the prevention of accidents, it is, 
after all, the first line supervisor or 
foreman with whom the employee 
comes in daily contact. It is the fore- 
man who is actively engaged in di- 

* See "The Bell System's Safety Observation 
Plan,"' Magazine, Summer 1944. 

recting the operations on the job and 
it is, therefore, necessary that he be 
properly trained to fulfill his obliga- 
tions of seeing that his men drive 
safely. The types of supervisory 
training which are helpful to the 
foremen in this endeavor include : 
Vocational Instructor Training, de- 
signed to teach the foreman how to 
teach; Human Relations Course; and 
Job Planning. 

Creating Driver Interest 

An employee may possess the nec- 
essary skills and knowledge for safe 
driving and yet be involved in acci- 
dents unless he has the proper atti- 
tude and always keeps his mind on his 
driving when operating his vehicle. 

The Bell System companies are 
using many methods to create and 
maintain interest and develop the 

Plowing-in telephone cable presents potential hazards which call for careful planning of 
the project and equally careful training in the necessary precautions 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


proper attitudes for safe driving. In 
addition to the means already men- 
tioned, a number of other projects in 
the fleet safety programs are de- 
signed primarily to create and main- 
tain the interest and correct attitude 
of drivers. 

Safe Driver Award Plans 

The companies have found such plans to 
be of value in stimulating and maintaining 
drivers' interest in safety. They vary some- 
what in kind and method of presentation. 
A usual procedure is to present at suitable 
annual meetings card certificates showing 
the number of years the employee has op- 
erated a car without an accident. Some- 
times it has been found possible to have the 
State Commissioner of Motor Vehicles or 
some other state or city official present upon 
such an occasion. Photographs of these 
meetings and further recognition to the out- 
standing drivers often appear in the com- 
pany magazines and safety publications. 

Hundred-thousand-Mile Clubs 

In addition to cards, special recognition 
is given to drivers who have operated their 
vehicles ten years (about 100,000 miles) 
without an accident. The awards are pre- 
sented by officials of the company at annual 
meetings attended by the drivers or even all 
the employees in a district. Upon the com- 
pletion of fifteen or twenty years' safe driv- 
ing, employees may be given further recog- 

Safety Contests 

In this activity the accident summaries 
are used to engender friendly competition 
and rivalry between districts and Areas. 
Suitable plaques and awards are presented 
to the winners. 

Driver's Resolutions 

Employees in some companies are given 
opportunity to sign cards containing a reso- 
lution to drive safely both on and off the 
job during the coming year. The cards are 
kept by the employees and serve as a re- 

How accidents happen, and 
how they can be avoided, 
are shown on demonstra- 
tion boards with miniature 

Vehicles on the board at the 

right are maneuvered by 

means of electrical controls 


Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet 


About 20yOOO safety posters^ -printed in 

colors^ are used monthly in the Bell System. 

Many are reminders to drive safely 

minder of the safe driving precautions to 
be observed. 

Steering-Wheel Cards 

These cards, about the size of an ordi- 
nar}' post card, contain brief printed in- 
structions or reminders and are placed on 
the steering wheels of vehicles. New cards 
with different wording are used each week 
for perhaps 25 consecutive weeks. These 
have a definite educational value as well. 

FiRST-AiD Training 

Experience has shown that persons 
trained in first aid understand better the 
seriousness of injuries and will do more to 
keep from becoming involved in accidents. 

It should not be assumed that all 
these activities are under way at the 
same time in all Bell System com- 
panies. It is recognized that any 
employee stimulation which becomes 
monotonous loses its appeal. For 
this reason certain projects may be 
discontinued and others introduced 
in the effort at all times to do things 

which seem to be most successful in 
developing smooth, courteous, effi- 
cient drivers, always mindful of the 
rights of pedestrians and other mo- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Motor Vehicle Accident Data 
and Their Use 

All kinds of records are needed 
in the Bell System for efficient op- 
eration. In order to determine the 
effectiveness of the motor vehicle 
safety activities, accident reports are 
carefully recorded and summarized. 
The summaries are compared with 
the results for other periods, and 
any trends which are developing are 
noted. Thus information is provided 
for the purpose of showing where 
special attention might most profit- 
ably be applied. 

This information — the facts be- 
hind the accidents — may indicate a 
need for change in design of equip- 
ment; change in practices; or the 
introduction of special training to 
correct unsafe acts or driving habits 
— speeding, following too closely, 
lack of concentration. 

Accident reports and records are 
not an end in themselves. They are 
valuable if used to determine the 
progress being made, conditions and 
driving practices which cause acci- 
dents, remedial measure to be intro- 
duced to correct adverse trends : in 
general, the basis for a sound motor 
vehicle accident prevention program. 

It is essential that drivers appre- 
ciate the need for traffic laws as nec- 
essary to both the movement of traf- 
fic and the prevention of accidents. 
Bell System drivers do understand 
this; and, furthermore, they know 
that drivers who disregard the rights 
of others must be restrained from do- 
ing so, and in extreme cases denied 
the privilege of driving if they persist 
in the practice. This makes for an 
appreciation of the need for efficient 
law enforcement and for measures 

which are aimed at saving life and 
property through the prevention of 
accidents to other motorists and pe- 

To help this realization, the tele- 
phone companies furnish their em- 
ployees an illustrated booklet con- 
taining the city and state driving 
regulations, operating practices, or 
rules for safe driving and procedures 
to follow in reporting accidents if 
they occur. Operating practices cov- 
ered in the booklets are exemplified 
by the following: 
Traffic signs and Parking 

lights Inattention 

Traffic lanes Taking chances 

Intersections Right and left turns 

Following too close Passing 
Weather conditions Use of horn 
Fog, snow, sleet and Hand signals 

rain Speeding 

Pedestrians — chil- School buses and 

dren trolleys 

These efforts have resulted in 
splendid cooperation between Bell 
System drivers and city and highway 
police. Evidence of this is the at- 
tendance of city and state police of- 
ficers at safety award meetings and 
their commendations given for the 
courteous operation of telephone 
company cars. Bell System employ- 
ees are often called upon, in turn, 
to give police organizations the bene- 
fit of Bell System first aid training 
and safety experience, and often re- 
ceive favorable publicity in the news- 
papers for safe driving. 

Modern Maintenance Methods 
Promote Safety 

In no other field of accident pre- 
vention is it so evident that the in- 
efficiencies which cause accidents are 
the same as those which lead to other 
production losses. 


Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet 


A trailer equipped with 
motion-picture projector and 
screen and with other display 
items takes classroom safety 
training to men on the job 
in remote locations 

Above: Inside the trailer^ 
men compare pictures of the 
unsafe and safe methods of 
performing a task. Right: 
The mobile training unit 
reaches a construction crew 
out in the great open spaces 

Experience has definitely proven 
that safety and efficiency go hand in 
hand. This seems particularly true 
in providing adequately maintained 
motor vehicle equipment that is safe 
for employees to operate on the 
streets, roads, and highways, through 
all kinds of traffic and varying 
weather conditions. 

Preventive maintenance assures 
that vehicles will be able to get safely 
to their destinations and not be held 
up for emergency repairs, reduces to 
a minimum the possibility of acci- 
dents caused by mechanical failures, 
and maintains the condition and ap- 
pearance of the vehicles so that driv- 
ers will be proud of their vehicle. 

Bell System companies have long 
recognized the value of properly 
maintained garages. A clean, or- 
derly, good-looking garage, stock 

room, and storage yard reduce the 
possibility of accidents to the garage 
forces and to motor vehicle drivers 
while entering or leaving the garage 
or yard. A properly maintained 
garage can be an incentive for driv- 
ers to keep their cars, tools, and 
equipment in good condition and to 
drive and work safely during the day. 
Drivers are trained to understand 
the fundamentals of mechanical con- 
struction and operation of their ve- 
hicle and equipment, and the value of 
preventive maintenance. The value 
of checking steering, brakes, horn, 
lights, tires, and windshield wipers 
before leaving. the garage each morn- 
ing and reporting each defect at the 
end of the day's work are included 
in the training. This is because al- 
most all motor vehicle failure is pro- 
gressive, and many of the troubles 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


which lead to eventual breakdown 
can be discovered and reported by 
the driver. This is another way of 
preventing accidents before they hap- 

Fitting Motor Vehicles for 
the Work To Be Done 

Motor vehicle equipment, like 
telephones and switchboards and all 
the other types of telephone plant, 
is constantly being improved to meet 
the particular needs of the service. 

In this evolutionary process, one 
of the main features always given 
consideration by Bell System auto- 
motive engineers is to build safety 
into design and use of the equipment. 

In addition to making equipment 
safe to use and the work less burden- 
some, it is designed with the comfort 
and convenience of the employees in 
mind. Examples include the devel- 
opment of the crew compartment on 
trucks behind the regular three man 

cab, space for storage of lunch boxes, 
heaters (when necessary), and drink- 
ing water coolers. 

In the use of motor vehicles and 
the many kinds of construction ap- 
paratus, employees are encouraged 
to observe and report upon operat- 
ing practices and upon design fea- 
tures of the equipment which can 
be improved from the standpoint of 
safety or efficiency. 

Improved and modern automotive 
equipment has done much over a pe- 
riod of years to make telephone work 
less burdensome as well as safer. 
This is the natural result of placing 
special emphasis on all mechanical 
devices which will save time and 
promote efficiency. A few outstand- 
ing examples illustrate the modern 
method of utilizing automotive power 
equipment rather than hand power: 
digging holes with pole-hole diggers; 
handling, setting, and moving poles 
with power winches and derricks; us- 

A lOOfiOO-Mile-Club dinner. The 12 men in the foreground have driven 20 years 

each without an accident 


Promoting Safety in Our Automotive Fleet 



M*n>h*rihip No Awarded 


Awards and certificates are presented to employees who have 
established outstanding records for safe driving 

ing power reels for taking down wire 
and removing cable; and using pole 
and cable-reel trailers. The use of 
power winches for lifting heavy 
loads, pulling in and removing aerial 
and underground cable, and many 
other operations has lightened bur- 
dens and made telephone work easier, 
safer and more efficient. 

Printed instructions covering the 
methods of using automotive equip- 
ment and construction apparatus in- 
clude safety precautions. The cable 
splicer working with a truck equipped 
with a platform ladder would have 
a practice covering the raising and 
lowering of the ladder. This prac- 
tice contains such statements as: 

"Before erecting the ladder, be 
sure to learn and understand all 
the safety and general precau- 
tions involved." 

". . . make sure that any signals 
are thoroughly understood by 
all persons concerned." 

"Immediately after entering the 
platform, attach both safety 
chains to the D rings of your 
body belt." 

In the final analysis, the success 
of the motor vehicle accident pro- 
gram rests in the hands of the 75,000 
regular and occasional operators of 
the motor vehicle equipment. That 
is the reason safety programs are 
designed to utilize every possible edu- 
cational method to develop in each 
driver an understanding of the ap- 
proved techniques of skillful driving, 
as well as a feeling of his responsibil- 
ities to himself, his organization, the 
pedestrian, and other users of the 

That this approach has been suc- 
cessful is evidenced by the number 
of times that telephone company em- 
ployees who operate motor vehicles 
have won high honors when they 
have competed with other fleets op- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

The National Safety Council reports 
32,300 persons killed last year and 
100,000 left with some permanent 
impairment, due to motor vehicle ac- 
cidents in the United States. The 
estimated property damage was $l,- 
100,000,000, plus an additional cost 
of $1,550,000,000 for medical ex- 
penses, overhead costs, and value of 
services lost to the nation because of 
these motor vehicle accidents during 
the year. 

erating in the same city or locality. 
The good safety record of Bell Sys- 
tem drivers as a whole parallels the 
fine safety record of the employees 
of the entire communications indus- 
try shown each year in figures pub- 
lished by the National Safety Coun- 
cil. These figures continue to show 
that the communications industry has 
the best accident record in American 

Although the employees in the tel- 
ephone companies are justly proud 
of their safety records, it is recog- 

nized that the problem is a never 
ending one. The general traffic con- 
ditions probably will not improve 
very rapidly as more vehicles fill the 
highways. With this there will be 
new drivers coming into the business, 
and new types and designs of motor 
vehicles and power equipment requir- 
ing special training and attention. 
Telephone service is essential in rain, 
sleet or sunshine. The fleet of well 
kept Bell System cars will be on the 
road in all kinds of weather. Each 
driver, trying to be courteous and 
careful, knows that an extra measure 
of caution and concentration goes a 
long way in preventing accidents. 

While the purpose of organized 
safety is primarily to prevent suffer- 
ing, heartaches, and financial losses 
to employees, their families, and oth- 
ers, a good record demonstrates that 
steps have also been taken to improve 
public relations, reduce costs, and 
otherwise increase the eflficiency of 

It makes sense — because by doing 
things the safe way all are gainers. 

M^ ma mwjsim 

This creed is standard equipment on the 

instrument panel of every Bell System 

motor vehicle 

Mechanical Prevention and Legal Penalties Det^ the 

Minority IV ho Seek to Defraud the Telephone Companies 

For Services Rendered at Coin Telephones 

Most People Are Honest 

H, Montague Pope 

It was in the year 1889 that the 
first public coin telephone was in- 
stalled, in Hartford, Connecticut, on 
the ground floor of the old Hartford 
Bank, at the corner of Main Street 
and Central Row. Other public coin 
telephones soon were installed in 
Connecticut, and were gradually in- 
troduced in other sections of the 

The telephone industry in those 
early days was a fast-growing one — 
as, in fact, it still is — and with the 
installation of the ever increasing 
number of telephones in homes and 
business concerns, the need for pub- 
lic telephones became increasingly im- 
portant. Compared with that first 
public coin telephone, installed in 
1889, there are now in service in 
this country nearly 720,000 Bell Sys- 
tem public and semi-public multi-slot 
coin telephones, and more than 3,000 
attended public telephones. In addi- 
tion, independent telephone compa- 
nies have about 75,000 public tele- 
phones in service. In 1947, public 
telephones produced approximately 
$200,000,000 in revenue.* 

Coin telephones have tempted 
some people to beat the telephone 
companies out of legitimate charges 
for the services they furnish, through 
the use of slugs in lieu of United 
States nickels, dimes, and quarters. 
Over the years, the use of slugs had 
become increasingly prevalent, until 
Bell System losses reached a peak in 


It was a serious problem for the 
telephone companies, for it was ap- 
parent that losses would continue to 
increase unless decisive efforts were 
made to combat the fraudulent use 
of slugs. The situation was can- 
vassed, and consideration was given 
to such steps as designing new coin 
telephones, modifying existing coin 
telephones, attacking the sources of 
slugs, seeking the enactment of State 
laws or the strengthening of existing 
laws, and invoking existing Federal 

The improvement of coin tele- 
phones is, like the improvement of 
all items of telephone equipment, a 

* See "Public Telephones," Quarterly, Oc- 
tober 1939; and "Public Telephones: They 
Serve Everybody," Magazine, Spring 1948. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


The Gray Telephone Pay Sta- 
tion Company' s first coin tele- 
phone apparatus — minus trans- 
mitter and receiver^ but with a 
support for the left elbow. The 
year was i88g 

matter for continuing study. The 
decision was, therefore, as a first 
step, to alter and refine the arrange- 
ments in present coin telephones for 
detecting and rejecting slugs. 

The metal box housing the coin 
collection and rejection features of 
the public telephone has been kept 
as small as possible, and there are, 
therefore, some limitations as to 
what modifications can be made in 
the existing telephones. Bell System 
coin telephones have been made by 
Western Electric Company since 
1934, and engineers of American 
Telephone and Telegraph Company, 
Bell Telephone Laboratories, and 
Western Electric Company have co- 
operated in introducing new features 

in the coin rejecting mechanism to 
the extent possible in the space avail- 
able. These new features have been 
principally two. 

The coin gauges at the top of the 
coin box were formerly of nickel- 
plated brass, while the new gauges 
are of steel and made to more exact 
specifications, with limits closer to 
the sizes of coins. This prevents the 
use of over-sized slugs, and mini- 
mizes the wear on the gauges. The 
coin-chute runways through which 
the coins pass are now made to more 
rigid specifications, thus increasing 
the eflliciency of the rejecting features 
of the mechanisms and making them 
less subject than formerly to defor- 
mation through wear. 

Jurying Up the Sources 
of Slugs 


supply of slugs that could be used 
Instead of 5^, 10^ and 25^ United 
States coins. 

One of the first steps was to deter- 
mine the sources of slugs and to take 
such action as seemed appropriate to 
reduce the supply to a minimum. 

Many manufacturers of marking 
devices made trade checks, tokens, 
key tags, and similar Innocent items 
in sizes approximating the sizes of 
nickels, dimes, and quarters; and 
many of them soon found their way, 
through fraudulent use. Into coin tele- 
phones. In the early 1930s the na- 
tional trade association of the Indus- 
try was approached and, when in- 
formed of the fraudulent use of mem- 
bers' products, heartily cooperated 
with the Bell System. At an annual 
meeting of members, the group unan- 
imously agreed not to make such 


Most People Are Honest 


products in sizes susceptible of mis- 

Not long thereafter, certain mem- 
bers were requested to quote prices 
on coin-size slugs in orders as large 
as one-ton lots. To their great 
credit, these members replied that no 
member of their association would be 
a party to business of such a ques- 
tionable nature. 

Another problem arose when legit- 
imate manufacturers found it neces- 
sary, in the course of making their 
products, to create waste punchings 
of metal which sometimes were of 
coin sizes. In some instances these 
punchings found their way into coin 
telephones. The managements of 
these factories, when informed of 
what was happening, immediately 
took steps to keep the punchings 
from leaving the factories. Occa- 
sionally it was difficult to determine 
the source of the punchings, but 
vigilance on the part of telephone 
employees usually resulted in its dis- 
covery and elimination. 

There have been many instances 
of business concerns distributing ad- 
vertising discs of coin size — some of 
which have subsequently been found 
in coin telephones. Manufacturers 
and distributors were interviewed, 
and when informed that the slugs 
were being used fraudulently, agreed 
to destroy their supplies of such discs 
and cancel pending orders for addi- 
tional slugs. One interesting case 
was a religious organization which 
distributed 25-cent-size discs having 
a brief prayer on each side. When 
informed of the misuse of these 
"prayer slugs," the organization im- 
mediately canceled all orders for 
additional discs. 

Because of the cooperation of le- 
gitimate manufacturers, slugs even- 
tually became scarce. This appar- 
ently suggested a lucrative field to 
certain individuals and concerns, who 
thereupon went into the slug manu- 
facturing business in a big way. Some 
of them had in their factories various 
types of coin-operated merchandising 
machines, including coin telephones, 
presumably to enable them to design 
slugs which these machines could not 
reject. An idea of the character of 
these concerns may be obtained from 
the following excerpt from an adver- 
tisement of one of them : 

*'We are the leading supply house 
for slot machine slugs. These are 

A later Gray models with coin slot 
in the big bell^ above the initials of 
the Southern New England Tele- 
phone Company 

Bell Telephone Magazine 


sold for use only in gambling devices. 
. . . They work just like real money, 
oftentimes better. When money has 
become worn it sometimes will fail 
to work the machine. Our slugs 
never fail. . . . These slugs are not 
sold to be used in telephones or other 
legal machines.'* 

The last sentence of the quotation 
was in large print, and in effect ac- 
tually informed people that the slugs 
could be used to operate telephones 
or other legal machines. 

There was in 1933, due probably to 
general economic conditions, a definite 
increase in slug usage not only in tele- 

This Gray i)istru»ic)U had not 
only an elbow rest but slots for 
half-dollars and ''cartwheel" silver 
dollars as well as J or the usual 
smaller coins 

phones but in coin-operated merchan- 
dising machines, postage stamp ma- 
chines, railway turnstiles, automats, 
and similar devices; and the opera- 
tors of coin collecting devices were 
determined to combat this fraudulent 

The Bell telephone companies in- 
tensified their efforts to reduce the 
use of slugs. Analyses were made to 
determine periodically the extent of 
use at each coin telephone, and slugs 
were classified by types. As new 
types of slug showed up, their source 
was usually discovered — although 
that was often not easy to find. 

Where the use of slugs in a given 
coin telephone was heavy, the agent 
on whose premises it was located was 
interviewed and the situation was ex- 
plained to him — including the effect 
of such fraudulent use in reducing his 
commissions. The agents cooperated 
with the telephone companies on the 
side of law and order, and sometimes 
were able to point out probable sus- 
pects. Their assistance resulted in a 
number of arrests by city police, fol- 
lowed by convictions in the courts, 
and the newspaper accounts of the 
convictions unquestionably contrib- 
uted to the reduction of slug usage. 
In some situations where all efforts 
failed to reduce the use of slugs, the 
coin telephones were removed and re- 
established in other locations. Dur- 
ing the last war, oddly enough, the 
shortage of metal increased the diffi- 
culty of slug makers, and as a con- 
sequence contributed to the reduction 
of slugs. 

There is one case on record where 
the user of slugs in a coin telephone 
was apprehended through the use of 
finger-prints. In this instance a long 
distance call of several hundred miles 

Most People Are Honest 


was made; and immediately after the 
call the plain brass slugs used were 
removed by city police and taken to 
headquarters, where they were photo- 
graphed and the finger-prints identi- 
fied. The user of the slugs and his 
associate were quickly arrested, and 
were later released after each had 
put up $i,ooo bond. The two men 
forfeited their $2,000, and their au- 
tomobile was confiscated by the po- 
lice, since it contained a sack full of 
brass slugs similar to those used in 
making the long distance call. Crime 
does not pay! 

Laws and Law-breakers 

By 1933, the majority of states had 
enacted laws to prohibit the use of 
slugs and penalize the users; but few 
statutes prohibited the manufacture, 
sale, or distribution of slugs. 

Soon thereafter, several states en- 
acted laws to prohibit the manu- 
facture, sale, or distribution of slugs 
with fraudulent intent, or with knowl- 
edge or reason to believe that such 
slugs were for fraudulent use. Ex- 
cept in a few cases, these state laws 
were not very effective, for the rea- 
son that it was too difficult for a dis- 
trict attorney to prove fraudulent 
intent. The manufacturer or distrib- 
utor could always proclaim his inno- 
cence and deny any attempt to de- 

While amendments to Minnesota 
and Ohio statutes were being consid- 
ered by the state legislatures, a sug- 
gestion was made that the amend- 
ments should include a provision that 
"knowledge or reason to believe" 
may be shown by proof tjiat any law- 
enforcement officer has, prior to the 
commission of the offense with which 
the defendant is charged, informed 

A modern coin telephone 

the defendant that slugs of the kind 
were being used unlawfully or fraud- 
ulently to operate coin collecting de- 
vices designed to be operated by law- 
ful coins of the United States. Both 
states in 1941 had this provision en- 
acted into the law. In addition, the 
Ohio statute has a provision to pro- 
hibit the advertising of slugs for the 
operation of illegal machines. 

In a Federal District Court an in- 
dictment was brought against a man 
on three counts : ( i ) for possessing 
500 falsely made and counterfeited 
coins in resemblance and similitude 
of the genuine five-cent coin of the 
United States, all with intent to de- 
fraud; (2) for the unlawful sale of 
100 of said coins, with intent to de- 
fraud; and (3) for unlawfully issu- 
ing 100 tokens and devices of metal 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


and its compounds Intended to be 
used as money for and instead of the 
five-cent piece authorized by law, all 
without being lawfully authorized to 
do so. 

The facts in this case, as brought 
out by the district attorney, briefly 
are as follows: The defendant op- 
erated a novelty store where he sold 
certain coin slugs to the public, pur- 
chasing them at wholesale and sell- 
ing them at some profit. Two types 
of slugs were involved, one of them 
selling for $1.00 a hundred and the 
other, which the defendant called his 
DeLuxe type, sold for $1.20 per hun- 
dred. Thus for $1.20 one might ob- 
tain from the defendant's store slugs 
which if used for nickels would have 
a "value" of $5.00. In this case the 
Government presented a comparative 
table of the contents of the genuine 
nickel prescribed by Federal statute 
and the contents of these slugs : 

Genuine Nickel 



Coin Slug 

Copper 63 % 
Nickel 17.60% 
The remainder 
consisted of Zinc, 
Cadmium and 

The comparative weight and size 
of the genuine nickel under the Fed- 
eral statutes and the coin slugs is- 
sued by defendant were as follows : 

Genuine Nickel 
77.16 grains 

Coin Slug 
76.90 grains 

There is a variance of weight al- 
lowed by statute of 3 grains, so the 
coin slugs were within the variance 
allowed by law and may be said to 
be exactly of the same weight as the 
genuine nickel. The statute does not 

fix the dimensions, but the standard 
diameter and thickness of the gen- 
uine nickel as compared with the coin 
slug were as follows : 

Genuine Nickel Coin Slug 
Diameter .835 inch .833 inch 

Thickness .078 inch .075 inch 

The coin slugs had inscriptions on 
one side reading "No cash value" 
and on the other side "Good for 
amusement only." The slugs in this 
respect did not resemble the genuine 
nickel, and obviously were not in- 
tended to be passed physically from 
hand to hand as money. The mode 
of use in this case was to pass the 
coin by a mechanical device which 
cannot read, and therefore it was im- 
material what inscription appeared 
on the slug. In all other respects the 
slug so closely resembled the genuine 
nickel in size, weight, and metal com- 
pound that it avoided detection by 
the mechanical devices used in vend- 
ing machines and coin telephones. 

It was apparent that such slugs 
were intentionally issued to be used 
as and in place of genuine five-cent 
coins. The defendant was found 
guilty and penalized. 

Another case of a concern manu- 
facturing in a big way slugs identical 
in size with United States coins re- 
sulted in the factory being raided by 
local police in cooperation with Fed- 
eral authorities. In this factory were 
found mechanisms of various coin- 
operated machines, including coin tel- 
ephones. All slugs were confiscated, 
and the tools for making them; the 
makers were subsequently indicted by 
a Grand Jury, tried in a Federal 
court, found guilty, and sentenced to 

There have been, on the other 


Most People Are Honest 


hand, cases which Federal judges de- 
cided not to bring to trial, appar- 
ently believing the laws against coun- 
terfeiting were not adequate. This 
led to an amendment of the counter- 
feiting laws making the manufacture, 
sale, or distribution of slugs for 
fraudulent use illegal. The amend- 
ment was approved by Congress on 
April I, 1944, and became Public 
Law No. 278. The law is now in- 
corporated in the revised Title 18 of 
the United States Code, Section 491, 
approved June 25, 1948, as Public 
Law 772. In this amendment there 
is a provision defining "knowledge or 
reason to believe" along the same 
lines as in the state laws of Minne- 
sota and Ohio previously mentioned. 
Public Law No. 772 should elim- 
inate the manufacture of slugs as a 
business venture, although it may be 
that some will occasionally be made 
in the kitchens of a few people, just 
as counterfeit money is sometimes 
made. To combat the manufacture 

of slugs for fraudulent purposes 
should now be much easier because 
of the heavy penalties for violating 
the Federal counterfeiting laws. 

The combined effect, from the 
standpoint of the Bell System, of all 
these coordinated activities — includ- 
ing the skill of the engineers in im- 
proving the coin telephone, the coop- 
eration of legitimate manufacturers, 
and the assistance of State and Fed- 
eral authorities — has progressively 
lessened the slug problem. The 
temptation to use slugs has been 
largely eliminated, and the relatively 
few who still try find it tougher go- 
ing and with less and less likelihood 
of success. Bell System losses from 
slugs are now less than one-tenth of 
what they were in 1933. 

This article must not be construed 
as reflecting on the American public 
generally. Its author still believes, 
despite the evidence here adduced, 
that most people are honest. 

"Our concern as applied to the telephone companies is not confined to its 
financial ills as related to our investment needs, because we are free to and do 
buy something else. We don't have to buy them. But there is another worry 
there, and I daresay this applies to all business men in the community. 

"In New England, to carry on a nation-wide competitive business, we need 
the very best of service in competition with companies in New York and else- 
where. We are situated at a disadvantage. 

"The telephones are most useful, too, in the insurance business. We must 
have excellent service to remain in a competitive position. Unless the tele- 
phone industry can earn a fair return, business and wage earners in our State 
are injured even more than is the company itself." 

From a statement by Lee P. Stack, vice president of John Han- 
cock Mutual Life Insurance Company in charge of finance and 
investments, before the Department of Public Utilities of Mas- 
sachusetts, September 28, ig48. 

The Annual Bulletin of the A, T, &f T. Company Is the 

Only Publication Which Regularly Summarizes the Number 

Of Telephones in Service on This Planet 

Telephones of the World 

James R. McGowan 

The bulletin "Telephone Statis- 
tics of the World — January i, 
1948," recently issued by the Chief 
Statistician's Division of the Ameri- 
can Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany, shows that at the beginning of 
this year there were 60,600,000 tele- 
phones in service throughout the 
world, or one telephone for every 38 
persons. This compares with one 
telephone for every 800 persons at 
the beginning of the century. Dur- 
ing the intervening years, the world's 
population has increased by about 45 
percent, while the total number of 
telephones has grown by almost 
3,000 percent. Twenty-nine years 
after the telephone was invented, 
the world had six million telephones 
in service — which was the number 
added to the global total in the year 
1947 alone. 

Telephone service has been so de- 
veloped and improved in recent years 
that the ideal of universal service 
seems almost to have been attained. 
Today, approximately 57,900,000 
telephones — a communication net- 
work comprising 96 percent of the 
world's telephones — are potentially 

within the reach of any Bell System 
subscriber. Communications experts 
have worked vigorously and continu- 
ously through international telecom- 
munications organizations to stand- 
ardize equipment and operating 
methods so that telephone subscrib- 
ers of each country may be linked 
with those of other nations, in their 
homes and places of business, on 
ocean liners, on coastal and harbor 
craft, on trains, automobiles, planes. 

At the beginning of 1948 there 
were 34,867,000 telephones in serv- 
ice in the United States, or 57.5 per- 
cent of the world's total. During 
1947 the United States had a net 
gain of three and one-quarter million 
telephones, which was more than half 
of the increase in the world total. 
The second largest national network 
of telephone facilities, that of the 
United Kingdom, augmented its tele- 
phone total by almost 300,000, or 
five percent of the world's net gain. 

In the Western Hemisphere out- 
side the United States, the gain in 
telephones during 1947 amounted to 
some 350,000. The combined area 
of Asia, Africa, and Oceania, which 

Telephones of the World 


January 1, 1948 » 


Total Telephones 

Privately Owned 

(or Dial) 

Connecting with 
Bell System 











North America 
(less United 


United States . 

South America. . . 



















































100 # 





' Partly estimated, all data having been adjusted to January 1, 1948. 
# Less than 0.05 per cent do not connect. 

in the aggregate is peopled by more 
than three-fifths of the world's popu- 
lation, added approximately 400,000 
telephones to the total number for 
those three continents. However, 
more than one-half of this latter fig- 
ure represents the net telephone gain 
in Japan alone. 

In a consideration of the world's 
telephone gain by years subsequent 
to World War II, it is well to bear 
in mind the fact that much of the 
so-called "gain" in number of tele- 
phones in service throughout the 
world, outside the Western Hemi- 
sphere, comprises restoration of war- 
damaged telephone plant. Such gain, 
therefore, does not in all instances 
represent new telephone expansion. 

Europe, with four times the popu- 
lation of the United States, has one- 
half as many telephones as we have 
in this country. By January i, 1948, 
Europe, with 3.0 telephones per 100 
of the population, had attained ap- 
proximately the same telephone de- 
velopment as that reached by the 
United States in the year 1903. 

Of all the countries of the world, 
Belgium has the greatest population 
density, with 719 inhabitants to the 
square mile, and has 6.3 telephones 
per 100 of the population. The 
United States, with 48 inhabitants 
to the square mile, has one-fifteenth 
Belgium's population density but has 
almost four times its telephone den- 

A bulletin on telephone statistics 
of the world has been published by 
the A. T. & T. Company each year 
since 19 12, except during those pe- 
riods of World Wars I and II when 
telecommunications data on a world 
basis were not available. Certain of 
the charts and tables presented in 
the current publication are repro- 
duced here. 

The map reproduced in the bulle- 
tin shows the radio network of the 
Bell System as of January i, 1948. 
Your voice can be transmitted from 
any telephone instrument in the 
United States to almost any other 
telephone on any other continent. 
Although spoken words were first 


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January 1, 1948 



San Francisco 














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This chart shows relative telephone development of principal countries of the world 

and certain major cities 


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Bell Telephone Magazine 


Problems other than those of a 
technical nature have been encoun- 
tered during the years of effort to 
standardize international communica- 
tion service. The Marconi Wireless 
Company vainly sought in IQJI for 
a Mohammedan who was an expert 
radio engineer. A contract had been 
signed with King Ibn Saud for the 
construction of a radio station in 
Mecca, but no one of a faith other 
than Mohammedan was allowed to 
enter the sacred city to carry out the 
work. Thus was the sudden Arabian 
leap from the archaic to the modern 
— from the centuries-old methods 
such as messenger on camel follow- 
ing a time-worn trail — made compli- 
cated. To solve the problem. King 
Ibn Saud sent four of his subjects to 
England for a course of instruction 
in the new electronic methods of com- 

successfully sent across the ocean in 
19 1 5, another 12 years were needed 
before overseas telephony was suffi- 
ciently stable to be offered to the pub- 
lic. When New York and London 
were first connected for commercial 
radiotelephone service, in January, 
1927, the cost of a three-minute con- 
versation was $75. Some 2,000 calls 
were flashed across the Atlantic that 
year. By 1939, the cost of a similar 
call had been brought down to $12, 
and most territories of the world 
were within voice reach of the United 
States. In 1947, half a million radio- 
borne conversations were made be- 
tween the United States and points 

Interesting problems are not in- 
frequently encountered during the 
process of gathering facts for a pres- 

entation of statistics on world tele- 
phone development. 

Data in the bulletin are shown, in 
so far as possible, as of the end of 
the calendar year. However, many 
of the large foreign administrations 
make their statistics available as of 
the end of their fiscal years, which 
of course vary; and other administra- 
tions do not make their official sta- 
tistics available until eighteen months 
after the end of the period under con- 
sideration. Adjustments are there- 
fore necessary in summarizing world 
totals as of the beginning of the year. 
Disparity in the time element requires 
still other adjustments in arriving at 
equitable development figures in com- 
parison of telephones in respect to 
population; for censuses, being time- 
consuming and costly, are taken only 
at long intervals. Attention must 
be given to intercensal growth rates 
coupled with annual official demo- 
graphic statistics such as those per- 
taining to birth and death rates; to 
gains and losses through interna- 
tional migration; to population shifts 
due to changes in land areas; to long 
and short-term economic factors; and 
to other important considerations. 

Official figures obtained direct 
from foreign administrations or 
companies are used whenever they 
can be procured. Not only are some 
400 foreign correspondents queried 
by letter and questionnaire for statis- 
tical data, but annual reports and 
technical magazines published in any 
one of several languages and issued 
by the various administrations or by 
private operating companies are read 
and annotated, as are governmental 
statistical abstracts and demographic 
bulletins. Publications issued by the 


Telephones of the World 


Bureau of the International Tele- 
communications Union at Bern, Swit- 
zerland, are read for items of cur- 
rent interest, such as changes in the 
personnel or the corporate structure 
of telecommunications organizations. 
An address file of all regular corre- 
spondents is maintained. 

In some cases estimates must be 
resorted to, nonetheless, and, where 
these are necessary, many factors are 
taken into consideration. A file is 
maintained on news items of those 
events throughout the world which 
may affect telecommunication or 
population data. Widespread disas- 
ters, such as hurricanes; innovations, 
changes in ownership, traffic data, 
conferences, new construction, war 
damage, manufacturing output — re- 
ports on all such are taken into ac- 
count in an effort to arrive at fair 
estimates. Official data published 
subsequent to such estimates have 
shown the estimated figures to have 
been gratifyingly close. 

Communicating with European ad- 
ministrations is relatively simple, for 
the majority of the telephone sys- 
tems on that continent are under sin- 
gle administrations and the informa- 
tion is, therefore, readily available. 
In some countries, however, many 
organizations must be queried for 
the required data. Telephone devel- 
opment statistics of the some 5,800 
non-Bell telephone companies operat- 
ing throughout the United States, as 
well as those of the Bell System, on 
the other hand, are obtained without 
difficulty. Standardized terms and 
uniform systems of reporting tele- 
phone development data in the 
United States simplify the assembling 

of such statistics for the total in- 
dustry in this country. 

Still other considerations compli- 
cate the work of assembling tele- 
phone data. Certain administrations 
— fortunately they are few — are re- 
luctant to supply information. One 
or two reply that, to their regret, the 
desired information is not available. 
One or two, notably the U. S. S. R., 
have never replied at all. It may be 
added that, possibly by way of com- 
pensation, an occasional estimate af- 
fably supplied is all too obviously 
founded upon conjecture and facile 
assumption rather than upon harsh 
fact. Such estimates are apt to err 
on the side of generosity. 

In compiling traffic data, it is noted 
that many foreign telephone systems 
have various categories of calls, such 
as those with Avis d'appel or Pre- 
avis (messenger calls), "lightning" 
calls, urgent calls, and fixed time 
calls, which are charged for at higher 
rates and have priority over ordinary 
messages. In times of peace, all calls 
in the United States are on a light- 
ning or urgent basis, without priori- 
ties, and are charged for at the nor- 
mal or ordinary rate. 

The annual survey of world tele- 
phones published by the American 
Telephone and Telegraph Company 
is the only publication which sum- 
marizes the number of telephones 
throughout the world. Inasmuch as 
warld totals of telephone develop- 
ment do not appear in any other pub- 
lication, this survey has, in the past, 
been extensively reprinted and ana- 
lyzed, both in the United States and 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the 
Bell Telephone Quarterly 

Items from Volume II, Number 3, October 1923 

Dr. F. B. Jewett Addresses 
Pacific Coast Meeting 
from New York 

On October 4TH, the Pacific Coast Con- 
vention of the American Institute of Elec- 
trical Engineers met in Del Monte, Cali- 
fornia, to confer the Edison Medal, and 
as President of the Institute at the time 
the award was made, it was the duty of 
Dr. F, B. Jewett to make the presentation 
speech. The medalist this year is Profes- 
sor R. A. Millikan of the California Insti- 
tute of Technology. As Dr. Jewett was 
unable to leave New York, arrangements 
were made to transmit his speech over the 
transcontinental telephone line. The Pa- 
cific Telephone and Telegraph* Company 
installed loud speaking equipment at Del 
Monte so that the entire convention could 
hear the speech. 

From "Notes on Recent Occurrences." 

World's Telephone 
Statistics, 1922 

During the year 192 1, 1,083,409 tele- 
phones were added to the telephone systems 
of the world, an increase of 5-2%, bringing 
the total number of telephones in the world 
on January i, 1922 to 21,948,960. Of this 
total, 13,875,183, or 63.2%, were in the 
United States, of which 13,380,219, or 
96%, were connected to the Bell System. 
The number of telephones in all the coun- 
tries of Europe combined was 5,606,252, 
or 25.5% of the world's total; all other 
countries had 2,467,525, or only 11.3% of 
the world's telephones. At the beginning 
of 1922, the total number of telephones 

in the world was equivalent to 1.3 for 
each 100 of the world's population, as 
against 1.2 at the beginning of 192 1. . . . 
Over one-half of the total net gain in 
the telephones in the world during 1 921 
occurred in the United States; and this 
despite the fact that the extent of telephone 
service relative to population is very much 
greater in the United States than in any 
other country. In all Europe the gain in 
telephones during 1921 was only 342,085, 
as compared with 545,804 in the United 
States. On January i, 1922, Europe still 
had but 1.2 telephones per 100 population, 
as against 12.7 in the United States on the 
same date. The relative number of tele- 
phones in Europe today is no greater than 
that which existed in the United States in 

From an article by Seymour L. Andrew, 
former A. T. & T. Chief Statistician. 

Beginning of Policy of 
Selling Service and Not 

The greatest thing that Gardiner 
Greene .Hubbard did in his administration 
of the telephone was establishing the busi- 
ness policy of the telephone on the prin- 
ciple of renting telephones and not selling 
them. As attorney for the Gordon Mac- 
Kay Shoe Machinery Company he saw that 
principle in practice. He realized that it 
was the wisest principle on which to build 
up the telephone business. As he was 
Trustee, he was able to adopt it without 
gaining first the consent of anyone, and he 
held to it persistently against both the se- 
vere pressure of lack of money and the 
united opposition of all the others con- 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly ,^ 203 

cerned. Even Mrs. Hubbard, his own 
wife, at one time went to Mr. Watson in 
the shop to beg him to join them and to 
add what influence he might have with Mr, 
Hubbard to persuade him to sell telephones 
instead of renting them, so much more 
money would be received in that way and 
they needed money so badly. But Mr. 
Hubbard stood firm. He had the power 
and nothing could move him from the 
policy. And the whole business structure 
of the Bell System is built upon his posi- 
tion ; if he had yielded, it could not have 
been. The renting of telephones led to the 
licensing system, and the licensing system 
led to the sale of service only. This indif- 
ference to money, so characteristic of him, 
was the concomitant of his far-sighted wis- 
dom and his determination to bring the 
right thing about. 

From "Two Founders of the Bell Sys- 
tem" by the late W . C. Langdon, A. T. 
^ T. Historical Librarian. 

Catalina Radio Telephone 
\ System Superseded by 
Submarine Cable 

The radio telephone system which for the 
I past three years has connected the Island 
of Santa Catalina with the rest of the Bell 
Telephone System was closed down on Au- 
gust first. An enlarged service to the Is- 

land is now being given over two submarine 
telephone cables, which were laid to the 
Island a few weeks before the closing of 
the radio. 

The passing of this radio system is of 
more than usual interest, both from an 
historical and a technical standpoint. It 
was the first, and so far as known, the only 
radio telephone system which has ever given 
a commercial telephone service, meeting in 
both transmission and signaling (although 
not as regards secrecy or economy) the 
ordinary requirements of wire telephone 
circuits. . . . 

Some six weeks before the radio was 
taken out of service, a "privacy" system was 
installed in connection with it. In this 
system the transmission was sent out in 
such form that the ordinary radio receiving 
sets could not pick up the messages and 
convert them into understandable speech. 
The system was not "secret" in the sense 
that one familiar with the methods used 
could not construct a set which could listen 
to it. Such a set, however, would be much 
more complicated than the ordinary set, 
and the added complication would be of 
no value except for picking up transmission 
over the system. It gave a degree of pri- 
vacy, therefore, something comparable to 
that obtained by a lock and key, which may 
not prevent a property from being broken 
into, but which does, in general, furnish a 
high degree of privacy to it. 

From "Notes on Recent Occurrences." 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

Who's Who & What's What 

(Continued from page 139) 

charge of a newly organized section of the 
department, the position he now holds. His 
previous contributions have been "Office 
Standards and Costs as Applied to Public 
Utilities," in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 
for April 1930, and "Bills for 13,000,000 
Customers," in this Magazine for Febru- 
ary 1942. 

Various assignments in the Plant De- 
partment of the Southwestern Bell Tele- 
phone Company, including central-office re- 
pairman, division plant engineer, general 
plan installation supervisor, and general 
plant training supervisor, occupied Erle 
Miner from 1922 to 1929, This experi- 
ence gave him a first-hand view of the 
System's training and safety programs from 
both the practical and the administrative 
standpoints. In 1929 he was transferred 
to the Department of Operation and Engi- 
neering of A. T. & T., to work on plant 
training problems, and in 1937 he became 
safety engineer — the position he now holds. 
His most recent previous contribution to 
this Magazine was "The Bell System's 
Safety Observation Plan," published in the 
Summer 1944 issue. 

Born in Torquay, England, and educated 
in that country, H. Montague Pope had 

been engineer of outside plant construction 
in South Wales for the National Telephone 
Company before coming to the United 
States in 1909. Here he became a plant 
engineer for the former New York and 
New Jersey Telephone Company. After 
military service in World War I he was 
transferred to the commercial engineer's 
staff, and in 1921 he became a member of 
the Department of Operation and Engi- 
neering of the A. T. & T. Company. In 
1933 he was appointed commercial prob- 
lems engineer, and ran smack up against 
the problems he discusses in this issue. 
This is not his first contribution to this 
Magazine, for his "Independent Tele- 
phone Companies" appeared in the issue for 
May 1941 ; but it is his last, for Monty 
Pope retired from the company on Septem- 
ber 30. 

For the third consecutive year since the 
war, and for the third time from the pen 
of James R. McGowan, telephone statis- 
tics of the world are back in the pages of 
this Magazine. Mr. McGowan's eleven 
years of A. T. & T. service with the Chief 
Statistician's Division, devoted to studying 
and reporting on the statistics and econom- 
ics of foreign telephone development, were 
interrupted by more than four years of 
military duty, spent in statistical and ad- 
ministrative work with the Signal Corps in 
Washington and with the Economics Divi- 
sion of Military Government in Berlin. 

me js.js. V 1 1 'T^ 1 \umaer rour yy mit^r /y^o -^ y 


Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S. ^^ffc ^,. 

A. Roger Chappelka ^^8a^ ^'^ 

Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing • Keith S. McHugh ' '^f^ 

The Part Communications Play in Civil Defense 
JuDSON S. Bradley 

Toll Dialing by Operators Reaches Some 300 Places 
Ernst J. Guengerich 

Right-of-Way Comes First • Harry H. Hoopes 

Installation by Western Electric Company • Alvin von Auw 

Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations 
Justin E. Hoy 


Telephone ^-Hm^rSj Company 'VewiorkA 

Bell TclcphomM^m^ 

PF'inter 1948-49 

Six Thousand Telephone Companies Serve U. S., 
A, Roger Chappelka, 209 

Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing, 
Keith S, McHugh, 217 

The Part Communications Play in Civil Defense, 
Judson S. Bradley, 220 

The Millionth Bell Rural Telephone Since the War Is Installed, 226 

Toll Dialing by Operators Reaches Some 300 Places, 
Ernst J. Guengerichy 228 

Fair Exchange, John Mason Brown, 238 

Right-of-Way Comes First, Harry H. Hoopes, 240 

Installation by Western Electric Company, 
Alvin von Auw, 249 

The Things Men Live By, Walter S. Giford, 259 

Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations, 
Justin E. Hoy, 260 

25 Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 270 

Bell System's Television Networks Connected, 271 

^ Medium of Suggestion ^ a Record of Progress 

'Published J or the supervisory forces of the Bell System by the Information Department of 
American Telephone and Telegraph Co., /p5 Broadway^ New York 7, N. Y. 
Leroy a. Wilson, President; Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, 4$'^^.; Donald R. Belcher, Treas. 

Who's Who & What's What 
in This Issue 

Few people realize how many companies 
are engaged in furnishing telephone service 
to this country. Even fewer appreciate 
the complexities involved in coordinating 
the facilities and services of all these com- 
panies in a nation-wide service which en- 
ables "anyone, anywhere, to pick up a tele- 
phone and talk to anyone else, anywhere 
else, quickly, clearly, and at reasonable 
cost." A. Roger Chappelka is well 
posted on the situation, however, because 
for the past six years he has headed an A. 
T. and T. group handling inter-company 
compensation matters. This activity has 
included not only revisions of settlement 
arrangements with connecting companies 
but the development of arrangements with 
them for coordinating new services, such as 
mobile telephone service and community 
dial operation. Joining the Ohio Bell 
Telephone Company in 1921, he was a 
division commercial engineer with that 
company when, in 1926, he transferred to 
the American Telephone and Telegraph 

Company in New York, in the commercial 
results and practices section of the Depart- 
ment of Operation and Engineering. 

A STATEMENT of the Bell System career of 
Vice President Keith S. McHugh was 
published in the issue of this Magazine 
for Summer 1948, to which he contributed 
a discussion and analysis of "The License 

Several Bell System officials have 
had unusual opportunities to serve their 
country in connection with the establish- 
ment of the Office of Civil Defense Plan- 
ning and the development of its program. 
Its first director was Russell J. Hopley, 
president of the Northwestern Bell Tele- 
phone Company, who took a leave of ab- 
sence of nearly a year, at the request of 
Defense Secretary Forrestal, to organize 
the enterprise from the ground up. Upon 
his return to the Northwestern Bell com- 
pany last November, Mr. Hopley was 

A. Roger Chappelka 

Keith S. McHugh 

Judson S. Bradley 

Who's Who & What's What 


Ernst J. Guengerich 

Harry H. Hoopes 


m A\ 

awarded the first Certificate of Apprecia- 
tion ever to be granted by the unified 
National Military Establishment, for his 
"exceptionally meritorious service." 

The organization of the Office of Civil 
Defense Planning has been kept small, but 
its director was able to enlist the services 
of executives in various branches of indus- 
stry. From the Sj^stem, the chief of the 
technical division was Horace H, Nance, 
Engineer of the Long Lines Department; 
and Allan G. Barry, operating vice presi- 
dent of the Wisconsin Telephone Company, 
served briefly as chief of the organization 
planning division. Communications ad- 
visor was Herbert J. Schroll, assistant vice 
president of the New York Telephone 
Company, whose length of service equaled 
Mr. Hopley's, and who now, after his re- 
turn to New York, is still retained as a 
consultant. Members of the advisory panel 
for communications services are Theodore 
Berrier, A. T. and T. assistant vice presi- 
dent, and John B. Rees, now operating 
vice president of the New Jersey Bell Tele- 
phone Company. Mr. Hopley has been 
succeeded by Aubrey H. Mellinger, former 
president of the Illinois Bell Telephone 
Company and now retired from that post. 

The communications aspects of the Civil 
Defense program are reported in this issue 

by JuDSON S. Bradley, who, after sev- 
eral years of editorial and publishing ex- 
perience, joined the General Information 
Department of the Southern New England 
Telephone Company in 1925. Five years 
later he became a member of the corre- 
sponding department of the A. T. and T. 
Company, and he has been since 1943 the 
editor of this Magazine. 

Thirty-seven years in Traffic work have 
given Ernst J. Guengerich a pretty 

{Continued on page 272) 

Justin E. Hoy 

Long distance cables stride across the countryside on private right-of-way. 
See '' Right-of-fVay Comes Firsty" beginning on page 240 

Cooperation and Coordination throughout the Industry in 

Working Out Common Problems Provide a Unijied 

Telephone Service for the Nation 

Six Thousand Telephone 
Companies Serve U. S. 

A. Roger Chappelka 

About 6,000 separate telephone com- 
panies join in furnishing our nation's 
telephone service. Only twenty-three 
of these are Bell companies. The re- 
mainder are non-Bell, or "Independ- 
ent"; in other words, they are in- 
dependently owned and operated and 
not a part of the Bell System. 

A few round numbers will indicate 
the size and importance of the In- 
dependent group in the industry. 
Eleven thousand Independent ex- 
changes, scattered from coast to coast, 
serve some 6,000,000 telephones. 
The toll circuits connecting Bell and 
Independent exchanges handle nearly 
500,000,000 messages a year. The 
annual revenue from these messages is 

The Independent companies vary 
considerably in size. The smallest 
ones may serve fewer than a dozen 
telephones, often connected to some 
simple switching device on the wall of 
a country store or an owner's resi- 
dence. The largest Independent sys- 

tem serves more than 1,000 localities 
in 19 states. Some of the larger 
cities served by Independent com- 
panies are Erie, Pa., Fort Wayne, 
Ind., Lincoln, Neb., Long Beach, Cal., 
Rochester, N. Y., Santa Monica, Cal., 
and Tampa, Fla. 

The problem of coordinating the 
operations of so many separate com- 
panies — Bell and Independent — is 
complex, and requires properly timed 
action on many widely diversified in- 
ter-company problems. 

Bell-and-Independent Codrdi?iation 

Independent and Bell people have 
been for many years working to- 
gether, thinking together, and plan- 
ning together. Both recognize the 
importance of maintaining two strong 
groups in the telephone industry. The 
effectiveness of the coordination be- 
tween these two groups can be demon- 
strated in many ways. 

When you listen to your favorite 
radio program, for example, you 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Toll offices of Independent telephone companies have been expanded and are working at 
full capacity to keep pace with the increasing volume of calls 

probably are not aware that Inde- 
pendent companies may be providing 
some of the network facilities. When 
you talk with a distant toll operator, 
you cannot tell whether she is a Bell 
or an Independent employee. Even 
when you drive along the highways, 
it is difficult to tell whether the tele- 
phone line at the side of the road is 
Bell or Independent. Except to tele- 
phone people, it isn't of any particu- 
lar importance. 

After half a century, what prob- 
lems can still exist that require coor- 

The answer to this question is two- 

First is the day-to-day job of keep- 
ing the facilities and operations 
of 6,000 telephone companies ef- 
fectively coordinated so that na- 
tion-wide service is practical. 

Second is the joint planning and 
introduction of new services, 
techniques, and methods which 
make improved and added serv- 
ices available to all telephone 
users, whether Bell or Inde- 

The Day -to- Day Job 

Of these two divisions of the work, 
the day-to-day job may seem to be 
the less spectacular. So let's look at 
a few selected items to illustrate its 
character and importance. 

A good lead-off item is message toll 
telephone service. 

There has been a tremendous 
growth in this business. The volume 
of business over individual toll routes 
fluctuates for such reasons as changes 
in customer requirements, seasonal 


Six Thousand Telephone Companies 


variations, and usage peaks caused 
by special events. There is, there- 
fore, a continuing job of following the 
volume of toll business and taking 
steps to insure that adequate but not 
excessive toll facilities are maintained. 
When a change in toll facilities is to 
be made, it may involve either Bell 
or Independent companies, or both. 
Hence the need for coordinated plan- 
ning by the several companies furnish- 
ing the required facilities. 

Another good illustration is the 
continuing work associated with the 
private line services. 

Numerous extensive networks are 
presently serving such customers as 
the press, broadcasting companies, 
pipe line companies, and government 
agencies. Most of these networks 
involve both Independent and Bell 
facilities. Frequent changes in loca- 

tions of stations are necessitated by 
changes in customers' requirements. 
The broadcasting companies and the 
press in particular originate a sub- 
stantial volume of requests for short- 
term additions to their networks. 
These added stations are used in cov- 
ering news, sports, and other events 
of special interest. The event may 
take place in either a Bell or an Inde- 
pendent exchange. In many of these 
cases there is no chance for advance 
planning. The news event breaks 
and the service is wanted immediately. 
Here again, prompt, effective action 
on the part of the companies involved 
is imperative. 

There are occasions also when one 
company may ask another for infor- 
mation or advice on day-to-day main- 
tenance problems, improvement of 
traffic operating performance, or some 

Independent companies recognize that good business-office service includes arrangements 
for the comfort and convenience of their customers 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


similar matter, in order to promote 
further coordination of over-all serv- 
ice. On such occasions, for example, 
a Bell plant man, if asked to do so, 
would be glad to suggest how a spe- 
cific central-office equipment problem 
could be overcome; or a traffic rep- 
resentative might have information 
on Bell System operating experience 
which would be helpful to an Inde- 
pendent company in improving the 
performance of its operating force. 
The larger Independent companies 
render similar assistance, of course, 
to the smaller Independent com- 

The negotiating of inter-company 
agreements covering the division of 
responsibilities and revenues on serv- 
ices involving the use of both Bell 
and Independent facilities, and the 
handling of inter-company settle- 

The entire telephone industry is actively engaged in ex- 
tending rural telephone lines, to bring service to an increas- 
ingly greater number of farms 

ments, is another important phase of 
the day-to-day job. 

Coordination of New Services and 

The introduction of new services, 
new equipment, and better and more 
economical ways of doing the job 
requires close coordination between 
Bell and Independent companies. To 
demonstrate the importance of Bell- 
Independent teamwork here, let's con- 
sider the following projects. 

Nationwide Operator Toll Dialing 

This project provides that the toll 
operator at the originating end of a 
toll call will dial straight through to 
the called telephone without assistance 
of intermediate operators, whether 
the call is to a neighboring town or 
across the country.* The 
T*'""' ™«»^— result is a faster and 
/ more efficient toll service. 
This is a fundamental 
change. It requires the 
highest degree of Bell- 
Independent coordina- 
tion, including both the 
operating and manufac- 
turing branches. It in- 
volves such far-reaching 
matters as establishment 
of a universal numbering 
plan for all exchanges, 
use of matching dial 
equipment at terminal 
and intermediate ex- 
changes, and a layout of 
toll circuits designed to 
provide the most efficient 
arrangement of direct 
and alternative routes. 

See page 228. 


Six Thousand Telephone Companies 


Community Dial Central Office 
(CDO) Conversions 

A CDO is a type of dial central of- 
fice where the equipment is housed at 
one location while the operators re- 
quired to handle toll, information, 
and assistance calls are located in 
another office or even in another ex- 
change. Plans for the next few years 
include conversions from manual to 
CDO operation in a large number of 
smaller exchanges. 

Past experience and present plan- 
ning emphasize the need for coordi- 
nation and cooperation on the part of 
all companies, both Bell and Inde- 
pendent, involved in a new CDO 
project. For example, the engineer- 
ing of a CDO requires consideration of 
inter-company plans for toll plant lay- 
out and operation as well as local re- 
quirements. Actually, it may develop 
that the most effective arrangement 
is to handle the operator office work 
(information, assistance, etc.) for a 
new CDO in the nearby central office 
of a company other than the one own- 
ing the CDO. 

An Independent company, consider- 
ing for the first time the desirability 
of introducing community dial opera- 
tion in one of its exchanges, can often 
benefit from the experience of other 
companies which have dealt previ- 
ously with such problems; and where 
two companies may be involved in a 
CDO project, there are important cost 
and service advantages to both com- 
panies in effective joint action. 

Mobile Telephone Service 

Another example of cooperative 
Bell-Independent thinking and plan- 
ning is the recent introduction of mo- 
bile telephone service. It was clear 
from the start that most careful at- 

Several Independent companies are fur- 
nishing mobile telephone service through 
facilities such as this 

tention would have to be given to the 
problems of all companies to utilize 
fully the limited number of available 
radio telephone frequencies and to 
secure participation by all companies 
within reach of a mobile station. 

Joint work of Bell and Independ- 
ent people has made this service a 
reality in many parts of the country. 
On January i, 1949, Bell companies 
were providing mobile telephone serv- 
ice in 133 areas, and Independent 
companies were providing service in 
another eight. 

The area covered by a mobile serv- 
ice station is broad : approximately 20 
to 25 miles in radius, on the average. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


In many cases, therefore, it covers 
the exchanges of more than one tele- 
phone company. Thus the 133 Bell 
service areas include about 1,500 Bell 
exchanges and 1,000 Independent ex- 
changes. Arrangements have been 
made for participation by all com- 
panies within such areas, resulting in 
a uniform service offering to the cus- 
tomers of all companies involved. 

Complete and efficient mobile serv- 
ice coverage of a highway requires 
the spacing of stations without re- 
gard to ownership of exchanges. All 
companies along the highway work 
together in the basic planning to de- 
termine the most efficient location 
of stations, and joint decisions are 
reached regarding which companies 
are to provide the equipment and op- 
erate the various stations. 

Television Networks 
Television, which is rapidly devel- 
oping in this country, introduces many 
new problems which require Bell- 
Independent coordination. Already 
there are more than 50 stations on the 
air. Another 400 are under construc- 
tion or have applied for construction 
permits. A dozen television stations 
are presently planned in Independent 
exchanges. It is reported that over 
a million receiving sets are in use. 

Broadly, the telephone company 
participation may involve facilities to 
meet administrative requirements, to 
connect the studio with the trans- 
mitter, to pick up local programs, and 
to connect with networks. Careful 
planning by Bell and Independent 
companies together is often required 
to serve this new industry adequately. 

Extended-Area Service 
Expansion of suburban areas, im- 
provements in transportation, and 

similar factors have substantially in- 
creased the extent of many metropoli- 
tan areas. The same factors have 
likewise strengthened the ties between 
adjacent communities. To meet cus- 
tomer service requirements which re- 
sult from these changing conditions, 
it is often desirable to replace short- 
haul toll service with flat-rate or mes- 
sage unit calling. This service is com- 
monly termed "extended-area serv- 

Enlarged areas for extended-area 
service, in a number of instances, in- 
volve both Bell and Independent ex- 
changes in a single project. In such 
situations, the division of ownership 
calls for joint decisions on such mat- 
ters as determining the exchanges to 
be made a part of the extended area 
and developing the most appropriate 
services and rates for each of these 

Rural Development 

The progress made since the war 
in improving rural service and devel- 
opment is another example of joint 
Bell-Independent effort. Since V-J 
Day, the Bell System alone has 
added more than 1,000,000 rural 

One of the basic problems is ade- 
quate coverage of the widespread 
areas far from population centers, 
and both Bell and Independent com- 
panies are actively engaged in the 
development of less expensive ways 
of bringing telephone service to 
farms. Stronger wire has been de- 
veloped, permitting longer spans and 
fewer poles; single pole-lines often 
carry both telephone and power cir- 
cuits; power-line carrier equipment 
now permits telephone conversations 
to ride electric-power wires under cer- 


Six Thousand Telephone Companies 


tain conditions; even two-way radio 
has been used in some cases to reach 
farms in remote locations. 

Such developments have contrib- 
uted to the great progress since the 
war. The program is a continuing 
one, and Bell-Independent teamwork 
and interchange of experience will 
continue to make important contribu- 
tions to the further progress to be 
achieved by the industry. 

Bell Organization for Coordinating 
with Independent Companies 

Cooperation between Bell and In- 
dependent companies is necessarily on 

an organized basis. 

It is not possible to blueprint the 
job and organization, however, be- 
cause there is considerable variation 
in requirements among the various 
Bell companies. Some factors affect- 
ing force requirements are: 

The number and size of connecting 
Independent companies. 

The range and amount of day-to- 
day work in coordinating Bell- 
Independent operations. 

The activity and interest of Inde- 
pendent companies in dial con- 
versions, mobile telephone serv- 
ice, operator toll dialing, and 
other new projects. 

Rapid progress is being made among Independent companies^ as well as in the Bell 
System, in the installation of dial equipment 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

The territorial characteristics of a 
Bell company may affect the degree to 
which the organization can be cen- 
tralized. Bell companies operating 
in a single state or compact area have 
the greatest opportunity for centrali- 
zation. Multi-state Bell companies 
usually require one group at general 
headquarters and other groups at 
state or division headquarters. Fur- 
ther decentralization is possible 
through delegation of some responsi- 
bilities to district managers and local 

Maintaining liaison with connect- 
ing Independent companies is a Com- 
mercial Department responsibility. 
The Commercial group charged with 
that responsibility also arranges for 
participation by other departments in 
handling Individual problems as they 
arise. Representatives of the En- 
gineering and Traffic Departments 
would participate in an Independent 
CDO project, for example. An Ac- 
counting representative might take 
part in a discussion of how best 
to maintain records covering inter- 
changed business. Plant people par- 

ticipate in cases involving mobile tele- 
phone service and other services 
utilizing facilities of both Bell and 
Independent companies. Since sev- 
eral Bell departments are often in- 
volved in a single project, most Bell 
companies have committees for coor- 
dinating interdepartmental participa- 

In most states the Independent 
companies have State Telephone As- 
sociations which are of assistance in 
matters affecting the Independent 
companies of that state. The Bell 
companies work with their respective 
associations on common problems. 
The United States Independent Tele- 
phone Association ("USITA") deals 
with matters affecting the entire In- 
dependent industry. Its activities in- 
clude education and information and 
it deals with legislative, regulatory, 
and other matters of national impor- 
tance to Independent companies. 

viding a unified telephone service for 
our nation. The industry intends to 
keep it so. 

The Bell System Makes Available upon Reasonable lermsy 
To All Who Desire Them^ Non-exclusive Licenses under Its 

Patents^ for Any Use 

Bell System Patents and 
Patent Licensing 

Keith S. McHugh 

Inventions originating in Bell Sys- 
tem companies play an important role 
in the telephone business in this coun- 
try. They also have extensive appli- 
cation in other industries. This article 
discusses Bell System policy in patent- 
ing its inventions and in licensing 
others to use them. 

What is a patent, and why is it of 
direct benefit both to the inventor and 
the public? The granting of a patent 
under our law is in principle a simple 
exchange of values between the in- 
ventor on one hand and the public on 
the other. The public receives a clear, 
permanent and open disclosure of an 
invention which might otherwise be 
kept secret. The inventor receives on 
his part an exclusive right to his in- 
vention for the duration of the patent 
period (seventeen years in this coun- 
try), which is intended to allow time 
to develop the product, get it into 
manufacture, market it, and derive a 
profit from it. At the end of this 

period anyone may use the invention 

The Bell System's interest in pat- 
ents comes about both by the nature 
of its business and from the extensive 
work of research and development 
which it carries on in order to be able 
at all times to furnish the public the 
best possible telephone service. This 
activity of research and development 
is of long standing and is essential to 
satisfactory and continuing progress 
in the constant effort to find new and 
better ways of doing the job in an in- 
dustry involving intricate apparatus 
and many complex operations. 

Out of the research and development 
work carried on by Bell System scien- 
tists and engineers come many inven- 
tions. These inventions contribute 
significantly to the art of telephony 
and improved service to the user. 
Most of them originate in the Bell 
Telephone Laboratories, the System's 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


research and development organiza- 
tion. Some also originate in the 
American Company itself, in the 
Western Electric Company, the Sys- 
tem's manufacturing organization, and 
in other companies of the Bell System. 

It is the practice to apply for United 
States patents upon the more impor- 
tant of these inventions so that the 
Bell System's right to use its own in- 
ventions in furnishing communica- 
tions service may receive the assur- 
ance provided by the patent laws. 

Another reason for applying for 
patents on these inventions is that a 
patent establishes a right in an inven- 
tion which enables the patent holder 
to grant licenses to others and thus to 
realize values of the invention in ad- 
dition to the values derived from using 
the invention himself. Bell System 
patents often have a trading value in 
acquiring the right to use inventions 
of others which are needed in furnish- 
ing the best possible communications 
service; in fact, licensing others to use 
the Bell System's patented inventions 
is sometimes the only way by which 
such rights can be obtained. Beyond 
this, patents are valuable assets in 
that others often are willing to pay 
royalties for the right to use the 
System's patented inventions. 

Some 600 license agreements under 
which rights are granted to more than 
400 widely varied businesses are in 
effect. Negotiations are in progress 
with a number of other concerns, and 
requests for licenses are coming in 
steadily. Some of the important uses 
for which licenses have been granted 
under Bell System patents are tele- 
phone instruments and switchboards; 
submarine and other types of cable; 
loading coils, repeaters, and carrier 
systems; radio communications sys- 

tems; broadcast transmitters and re- 
ceivers; sound recording and repro- 
ducing apparatus; hearing aids; pub- 
lic address systems; and medical and 
scientific equipment. 

It is the Bell System's policy to make 
available upon reasonable terms, to 
all who desire them, non-exclusive 
licenses under its patents, for any use. 
In order to realize the value of the in- 
ventions, it is necessary to employ dif- 
ferent types of patent license agree- 
ments in different situations, of which 
the following are some illustrations : 

(a) Licenses are exchanged with 
other patent owners, either with or 
without royalties, so that each gets 
the particular rights he desires 
under the patents of the other. 

(b ) Licenses are granted to man- 
ufacturers to make, use, and sell ap- 
paratus to others on a royalty basis. 

(c) Licenses are granted on a 
royalty basis to those who desire to 
use specified apparatus in their own 
businesses (as distinct from those 
who sell such apparatus to others). 
Such licenses include the right to 
have the licensed apparatus made 
by anyone for the licensee. 

Most of the System's license agree- 
ments fall within (a) or (b) above, 
or a combination of the two. For ex- 
ample, licenses are granted to manu- 
facturers covering telephone systems 
and apparatus for sale to operating 
telephone companies, both Bell and 

Where the proposed licensee has 
patents upon inventions which the Sys- 
tem desires to use in the communica- 
tions business, a non-exclusive license 


Bell System Patents and Patent Licensing 

•^ 219 

under such patents is always expected 
and any difference between values in- 
volved is adjusted through royalties. 
In all cases the System seeks to fix 
the terms of licenses to others under 
System patents, whether in the form 
of royalties or licenses to it, or both, 
in such a way as to be reasonably re- 
lated to the value of the patented in- 
ventions covered by the license. 

What has been said above relates 
to the licensing of concerns and indi- 
viduals in this country. The same 
general philosophy applies to patent 
license negotiations with foreign con- 

cerns, although there are different 
conditions, such as patent and other 
laws, trade and currency regulations, 
etc., which must be considered in such 
negotiations. Proposed patent license 
agreements with foreign concerns are 
reviewed with the State Department 
to be sure that they are consistent 
with our Government's foreign eco- 
nomic policy. 

For the general convenience of all 
those desiring licenses under Bell Sys- 
tem patents, the Western Electric 
Company has been designated as the 
agency to make agreements for rights 
under all Bell System patents. 

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself just what it is you really want 
in telephone service? I expect, when you boil it down, it's about as 
simple as this : 

You want to get the person you are calling quickly, whether he's 
around the block or across the continent. You want to hear his voice 
clearly, and know that he is understanding you just as clearly. You 
want — and expect — your telephone service to be available to you 24 
hours a day, and in using that service you want to feel that you are 
being treated in a friendly way by people who know their jobs. 

And, of course, you want these qualities at reasonable cost. 

Now the fact of the matter is, these are the very things we have al- 
ways tried to give you. The aim of the Bell System has been — and is — 
to supply you with telephone service that is high in value, low in cost. 

We intend to keep making it better all the time, so that its value to 
you will grow as your need for it increases. 

An announcement on the Telephone Hour radio program. 

^' Civil Defense for National Security" Reports on the Steps 

Necessary to Minimise the Effects of Enemy Action Against 

the Unarmed People of this Country 

The Part Communications 
Play in Civil Defense 

Judson S. Bradley 

The Selective Service law is in 
effect. The Army, the Navy, and the 
Air Force have been consolidated un- 
der one head, and are being strength- 
ened in both personnel and equip- 
ment. A National Security Council, 
a National Security Resources Board, 
a Munitions Board, a Research and 
Development Board have been estab- 
lished and are functioning. 

These steps are held to be essen- 
tial, in this era of troubled peace, to 
the defense of our country. 

Another step is essential to com- 
plete the nation's defensive organiza- 
tion: a structure of c'wil defense, to 
enable Americans to prepare to pro- 
tect themselves and their productive 
capacity in the eventuality that war 
should ever be brought to these 
shores. And the need is greater now 
than ever in the past because of the 
indiscriminate and incalculable blows 
of modern warfare. 

That step is in the process of being 
taken. Already there is a plan: a 

plan of Civil Defense for National 

Communications hold a key posi- 
tion, as would be natural, in the plan 
and in operations under the plan. 
But to understand their role, one 
must first understand what the plan 
includes, the organization it proposes, 
and the methods and extent of the 
organization's operations. 

On March 27, 1948, the Secretary 
of Defense created an Office of Civil 
Defense Planning, and appointed to 
it a Director, who was instructed : 

"To prepare and to submit to the 
Secretary of Defense a program of 
Civil Defense for the United States, 
including a plan for a permanent fed- 
eral civil defense agency which, in 
conjunction with the several states 
and their subdivisions, can undertake 
those peacetime preparations which 
are necessary to assure an adequate 
civil defense system in the event of 

Communications and Civil Defense 


By last Fall the assigned task was 
completed, and the Secretary of De- 
fense made public on November 14 
the 300-page document which the Di- 
rector of Civil Defense Planning had 
submitted to him. 

Civil Defense the report defines as 
"the mobilization, organization, and 
direction of the civilian populace and 
necessary supporting agencies to mini- 
mize the effects of enemy action di- 
rected against people, communities, 
industrial plants, facilities and other 
installations — and to maintain or re- 
store those facilities essential to civil 
life and to preserve the maximum 
civilian support of the war effort." 

The Civil Defense concept is es- 
sentially that of self-help, placing full 
responsibility for operation in the 
States and their communities. 

The basic unit is the individual. 
Given information and training — first 

aid, fire prevention, detection of con- 
taminated areas, and such — he must 
look out for himself. 

The basic group is the family. 
With some or all of its members simi- 
larly trained, it too must take care of 

The basic organization is the com- 
munity. Making use of existing mu- 
nicipal agencies, trained volunteers, 
and available skills and experience, 
it should, as a general proposition, 
undertake to meet whatever emer- 
gency befalls. 

Only when confronted by a situa- 
tion beyond its own capacity to handle 
would a community call upon the 
mobile reserves. These, set up on a 
scheme of mutual assistance, could be 
moved into an overwhelmed com- 
munity from locations throughout a 
state or adjoining states. A mobile 
reserve unit would include provisions 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


for affording such services as rescue, 
medical, fire fighting, debris clearance, 
radiological defense, emergency feed- 
ing, and repair. 

A disaster beyond the combined 
scope of the community and the mo- 
bile reserves would necessitate, as the 
ultimate recourse, calls upon the mili- 
tary services for assistance. 

Implicit in the Civil Defense con- 
cept Is also the availability of the 
organization for service in case of 
peace-time disaster, whether fire, 
flood, tornado, explosion, or other 

The Civil Defense Organization 

The Civil Defense program con- 
templates a nation-wide peace-time 
organization which could be quickly 
expanded and made effective in the 
event of a national emergency. It 
would function — broadly speaking — 
along these lines: 

A. There would be at the top a 
national Office of Civil Defense. Its 
head would be a Director, assisted by 
a staff and by four principal aides. 
The latter would be Deputy Directors 
in charge of Plans and Operations, 
Medical and Health Services and Spe- 
cial Weapons Defense, Technical 
Services (including Communications), 
and Training. This national organi- 
zation would be and could remain 
small; it would exist primarily to fur- 
nish leadership and guidance in or- 
ganizing and training people for civil 
defense tasks. 

B. Regional offices, established per- 
haps on a geographic basis paralleling 
the Army Area Commands, would be 
in charge of Regional Coodlnators, 
who would be responsible for coor- 
dinating Civil Defense matters be- 

tween Federal and State organiza- 
tions, and with the military and other 
agencies which might be involved. 

C. Within each State, the responsi- 
bility for the operation of Civil De- 
fense would rest with the Governor, 
who would appoint a State Director 
of Civil Defense. The latter would 
be assisted by an organization rather 
similar to that outlined in A above, 
coordinated with existing state gov- 
ernmental agencies; and his responsi- 
bility would be both to direct civil 
defense operations within the State 
and to coordinate them with those of 
other states and of the national or- 

D. The national and state organi- 
zations exist primarily In order that 
Civil Defense may function effectively 
at the local level. For that is where 
the blows of war fall: on people and 
places. It Is Important that Civil 
Defense make full use of existing 
agencies of local government, coor- 
dinating them with such added agen- 
cies as are not ordinarily found in 
normal peace-time local government. 
It Is here, the report recognizes, that 
all Civil Defense planning meets Its 
ultimate test: the handling of emer- 
gency conditions encountered at the 
local level — in the community — dur- 
ing actual operations. The local or- 
ganization described In the report Is 
intended simply as representative, 
since local circumstances may cause 
administrative needs to vary. As out- 
lined there, the Mayor or comparable 
civic ofliclal would be the responsible 
head of Civil Defense at the level at 
which It would actually operate. He 
would establish an Advisory Council 
of representative citizens, and he 
would have reporting to him a Direc- 


Communications and Civil Defense 


tor of Civil Defense, who would be 
assisted by four deputy directors. 
These four would exercise adminis- 
trative supervision, respectively, over 
the following division : 

1. Communications, Engineering 
and Public Works, Rescue, 
Transportation, and Air Raid 
Warning and Aircraft Ob- 

2. Plant Protection, Warden Serv- 
ices, Fire and Police Services, 
and Mutual Aid and Mobile 

3. Radiological, Chemical, and 
other Special Weapons Defense, 
and Medical and Health Serv- 

4. Evacuation and Civilian War 

All of these are coordinated, di- 
rected, and controlled by communica- 
tions : communications of various 
kinds in various quantities, but all 
with a common requisite — adequacy 
and reliability. 

"Fortunately," says the report of 
the Office of Civil Defense Planning, 
"in the United States there is a com- 
munications system of top efficiency 
and adaptability ... all the varied 
segments of the American communi- 
cations system are available and are 
willing to assist." 

Communications' Role 

For administrative purposes, 
communications for Civil Defense are 
grouped in three classifications: Gen- 
eral Communications, Radio Broad- 
casting and other Radio Services, and 
Air Raid Warning and Aircraft Ob- 
servers Communications. 

Taking them up in that order, let 
us think of general communications in 
terms of its most essential local use: 

at the local control center. The con- 
trol center would be the place from 
which civil defense operations are di- 
rected in an emergency. Its com- 
munication facilities should be of the 
utmost efficiency and reliability, and 
adequate to all needs. 

From the control center, wardens 
and emergency groups would be di- 
rected, and to it they would make 
their reports. 

Here contact would be maintained 
with control centers of neighboring 
communities, to facilitate mutual as- 
sistance, and from here local civil 
defense units would be dispatched to 
help in organizing assistance. 

The local control center would 
maintain direct contact with the local 
fire and police departments (although 
the departments should maintain 
their communication systems for their 
own exclusive use). 

It would communicate with key 
radio broadcasting stations; and it 
would receive and transmit informa- 
tion concerning water supply, public 
utilities, transportation and evacua- 
tion operations, and radiological and 
chemical defense. 

And it would receive and transmit 
air-raid warning information to desig- 
nated officials and perhaps operate 
warning sirens and public address 

In general, existing telephone, tele- 
graph, and radio facilities and serv- 
ices should be used insofar as possi- 
ble ; but provision should also be made 
for emergency means of communica- 
tion. Those might include such 
means as mobile radio telephone, air- 
to-ground radio, walkie-talkie facili- 
ties, and messengers. Some or all of 
these would be essential during and 
after major attacks which disrupted 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


other forms of communication; for 
use during mass exacuation and by 
mobile reserve units; and for both air 
and ground reconnaissance after 
chemcial or atomic attack. 

All existing communications facili- 
ties should be maintained by their 
owners; and expansion, repairs, and 
restoration should likewise be their 
owners' responsibility, plus such co- 
ordination and other assistance as 
Civil Defense might need to give. 

Throughout the entire discussion 
of the vital importance of communi- 
cations in the Civil Defense program, 
emphasis is placed on using standard 
equipment and arrangements wher- 
ever possible. 

Radio broadcasting is, of course, 
an important means of one-way com- 

Radio stations can be used in times 
of peace to inform the general public 
of its responsibilities under the Civil 
Defense program. In time of emer- 
gency, broadcasting of accurate and 
believable facts, warnings, and other 
information should contribute im- 
measurably in maintaining morale and 
preventing panic and confusion. Cer- 
tain broadcasting stations would be 
designated to serve as master stations 
for the operational guidance of all 
other broadcasting stations within a 
given area. The use of broadcasting 
facilities would depend, however, on 
the extent to which and the conditions 
under which radio silence might be 
imposed for reasons of military 

Under a carefully organized plan, 
amateur radio operators should be 
capable of making important con- 
tributions to civil defense, by provid- 
ing supplementary emergency com- 

munications channels — especially after 
an attack. Study of this nation-wide 
resource is proposed as a part of the 
Civil Defense program. 

The air-raid warning system of 
the Civil Defense program would be 
dependent upon the military air de- 
fense for news of impending air at- 
tack, which it would pass on in turn 
to key individuals and, through its 
local control centers, to the public. 
Civil Defense could also make con- 
structive contributions to military air 
defense, particularly through civilian 
aircraft observer activities. 

The U. S. Air Force has estab- 
lished an Air Defense Command, to 
defend this country in the air. It will 
have an air defense control center in 
each of the air defense control areas 
it will set up to cover the country; and 
each such control center will have 
communication facilities to connect it 
with all sources of information about 
air activity in the area. 

The air defense control center will 
be operated by the Air Force, but it 
would also be the operating center for 
a Civil Defense air-raid warning 
chief. Because he would be right in 
the middle, he would have instant 
access to all information about air at- 
tack, to pass on to Civil Defense or- 
ganizations. To the extent that they 
met his needs, each air-raid warn- 
ing chief would make use of regu- 
lar commercial telephone facilities. 
Other possibilities include printer 
telegraph equipment standing by to 
transmit pre-punched warning codes, 
and the transmission of secret codes 
from radio broadcasting stations by 
means of sub-audible frequencies. 

Despite modern electronic warning 
equipment, a supplementary system of 


Communications and Civil Defense 


civilian aircraft observers will un- 
doubtedly be needed to assist the Air 
Force in maintaining effective air de- 
fense and air raid warning operations. 
The local Civil Defense organization 
should be ready, in cooperation with 
the commander of the area air de- 
fense control center, to recruit and 
organize the aircraft observers and 
to select the observation posts. Since 
all this would have for its purpose the 
instant reporting, to the proper air 
defense control center, of aircraft 
seen or heard, the means of communi- 
cation would be of prime importance. 
It would be the responsibility of the 
chief of the communications division 
of the Civil Defense organization to 
determine what those means should 
be and to see that they were planned 
in advance and made available against 
the need. 

The Planning Goes Ahead 

Pending submission of the report 
"Civil Defense for National Security" 
to the Eight)^-first Congress, the 
small Civil Defense Planning group 
which prepared it continues with the 
preparation of plans and training 

Action by the Congress could 
quickly create within the Federal gov- 
ernment an Office of Civil Defense 
which would make effective the rec- 
ommendations of the report. This 
organization would function on the 
national level, as outlined earlier, in 
assisting the states to establish their 
own organization and thereby en- 
couraging the local communities to 
establish theirs. 

As these steps were taken, com- 
munications would come more and 

more into the foreground of the pic- 
ture. Until then they, like other 
proposals of the report, rest largely 
at the planning stage. 

The planning has been serious and 
realistic. Representatives of the com- 
munications industries have been ac- 
tive in the preparation of the report, 
and numerous others have been mem- 
bers of the advisory panel on com- 
munications services. As a conse- 
quence, the communications companies 
are fully aware of their responsibili- 
ties and prepared to meet them. 

"The United States is fortunate in 
having the most extensive and finest 
communications system in the world," 
says the report of the Director of 
Civil Defense Planning. Only a few 
years ago, that system demonstrated 
its capacity to assume vast burdens in 
contributing to the military victories 
of this nation. It demonstrated, at 
the same time, its potentialities for 
Civil Defense. They are even greater 

Newspapers throughout the coun- 
try hailed "Civil Defense for Na- 
tional Security" as a report of first 
importance, and paid their respects to 
the patriotic and disinterested Amer- 
icans who devoted their time and 
energy to its preparation. Perhaps it 
will be sufficient here to quote from 
the New York Times of last Novem- 
ber 14: 

"We commend [the plan] to Con- 
gress and to all citizens as a reason- 
able and important document. . . . 
The sooner a Civil Defense act is 
passed here and put into effect, the 
better it will be. This is an act of 
prudence that should not be long 

The Pacefarniy near Burlington^ North Carolina 

The Millionth Bell Rural Telephone 
Since the IVar Is Installed 

The millionth rural telephone to be 
added by the Bell System since the war 
was placed in service by the Southern Bell 
Telephone and Telegraph Company last 
December i6 in the farm home of W. J. 
Pace, in the bright-leaf tobacco section of 
North Carolina, thirteen miles from Bur- 

With the addition of these million new 
telephones, there are now more than 
2,300,000 Bell System telephones serving 
rural areas: 65 percent more than there 
were on V-J Day. As a result of the rec- 
ord performance of the Bell Companies 
and the active rural building programs of 
other telephone companies, about 45 per- 
cent of the farms of the country now have 
telephone service. 

The first call from the new telephone 
was made to President Harry S. Truman 
in Washington by U. S. Senator J. Mel- 
ville Broughton of North Carolina, who 
introduced Mr. Pace to the Chief Execu- 

Other participants in the ceremonies at 
the Pace farm included W. Kerr Scott, 
governor-elect of North Carolina, himself 
a farmer and dairyman, who spoke by tele- 
phone with Leroy A. Wilson, president of 
the American Telephone and Telegraph 
Company in New York. Mr. Pace also 
talked with Mr. Wilson. Also present 
were other state government officials, agri- 
cultural leaders, and representatives of the 
telephone industry, including Hal S. 
Dumas of Atlanta, president of Southern 

The Millionth Rural Telephone 


Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company, 
and Frank S. Barnes of Rock Hill, S. C, 
president of the United States Independent 
Telephone Association. 

During the ceremonies, Governor-elect 
Scott characterized the installation as sym- 
bolic of the progress being made in elimi- 
nating the isolation of the farmer. "Good 
roads, electricity, and telephones are not 
luxuries for the farmer; they are necessi- 
ties," he said. 

Mr. Dumas said that the Bell Companies 
would continue to push their rural expan- 
sion and improvement program, but em- 
phasized that large amounts of money 
would be needed to do the job. "The 
rural telephone expansion program,* un- 

* See "More and Better Service for Farmers," 
Magazine Winter 1944-45 ; and "Progress in 
Extending Bell Rural Telephone Service," 
Magazine Winter 1946-47. 

dertaken by the Bell System in 1945 when 
men and materials again became available 
following the war, called for the addition 
of a million telephones in rural areas 
within five years," he said. 

"This was the first postwar step in re- 
suming the active extension and improve- 
ment of service in rural areas. The job 
has been done in a little over three years 
despite serious shortages of supplies of all 

"To accomplish this task meant adding 
rural telephones at the average rate of 
more than 1,000 every working day — over 
three times the rate of any previous period 
in Bell System history. 

"The attainment of the Bell System's 
initial postwar objective does not mean 
that the task of bringing service to rural 
America is finished. The work will go 
right on," Mr. Dumas said. 

Mrs. Pace uses the new telephone as husband and p-anddaughter look on 

operation of the New York and Chicago Toll Crossbar 

Switching Systems Represents the Latest W^ord in Machine 

Handling of Long Distance Trajic 

Toll Dialing by Operators 
Reaches Some 300 Places 

Ernst J. Guengerich 

The Bell System made its biggest 
forward step in toll dialing with the 
cutovers last December of the toll 
crossbar systems in New York and in 

These mechanical switching sys- 
tems are like local dial offices in many 
respects; but, instead of serving local 
customers and handling local calls, 
they serve toll operators and handle 
toll calls. Outward toll operators in 
New York and Chicago now dial 
through their toll crossbar systems to 
reach customers in distant cities. Op- 
erators in distant cities dial customers 
in New York and Chicago, and also 
switch through the New York and 
Chicago toll crossbar systems to reach 
other cities. In other words, a toll 
crossbar system acts as a tandem 
board for outward calls, as an inward 
board for incoming calls, and as a 
through board for completing switches 
through a switching center such as 
New York or Chicago. 

The name "toll crossbar" comes 

from the use of the crossbar switch 
for setting up connections and certain 
distinctive toll features which distin- 
guish this system from others, such 
as step-by-step and crossbar tandem, 
which also are used for toll dialing. 
Toll dialing replaces the "ringdown" 
method of handling toll calls, under 
which an operator rings on a toll 
circuit to attract an operator's at- 
tention in the distant city, asks for a 
local number or for a circuit to an- 
other city, and, on through calls, rings 
again at the end of conversation to 
have the connection released. 

Under the toll dialing method, the 
operator dials or "key pulses" a series 
of digits which actuate dial equip- 
ment to reach the called number, and 
all connections are released automati- 
cally when the operator disconnects. 

Historical Background 

The study of an improved toll 
switching system began shortly after 
the end of World War I, to meet the 

Toll Dialing by Operators 


States connected with the New York and Chicago crossbar toll dialing systems 

urgent demand for better means for 
handling toll traffic in the larger cities. 

The first approach was a dial sys- 
tem using panel equipment, and a trial 
installation was made in Seattle, 
Washington, in 1925. This system, 
which is still in service, permitted 
nearby points to dial Seattle numbers, 
but the operation was slow and the 
possibilities for general use did not 
warrant further study. 

A study was then made of straight- 
forward toll circuits with high-speed 
manual switchboards : an arrange- 
ment similar to the trunking arrange- 
ment between local manual offices in 
a multi-office city. Under this sys- 
tem, when an operator takes up a 
trunk, a signal automatically lights at 
the distant office; and when she dis- 
connects at the end of conversation, 
she sets a release signal. A four- 

position switchboard similar to a local 
B board was tried out in New York 
City in 1935, and experience with it 
showed that considerable improve- 
ment could be made in manual toll 

By this time it appeared, however, 
that a dial system might be developed 
which would not cost a great deal 
more, and that the real answer lay in 
complete mechanization. Develop- 
ment was directed to toll dialing, and 
the design of the toll crossbar sys- 
tem as we know it today began to take 

At that time, the range of toll dial- 
ing was limited to a few hundred 
miles and it was expected that ring- 
down or straightforward operation 
would continue for many years over 
the longer circuits. Provision was 
made, therefore, for handling traffic 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Operators at a toll switchboard in New York. The girl 

in the foreground is using the keys which take the place 

of the dial. Beside them is the bulletin listing the codes 

for frequently called points 

tion of calls to and from 
manual ringdown and 
straightforward trunks. 
A No. 4 board was in- 
cluded for handling calls 
from the manual trunks 
and for giving assistance 
to operators in other 
cities when difficulty was 
met in dialing a number. 
The toll crossbar switch- 
ing systems now serving 
New York and Chicago 
are of the same type as 
the one in Philadelphia 
except that no No. 4 
boards are provided. 
Straightforward opera- 
tion has been dropped, 
dialing now is practical 
over any distance, and 
the program for convert- 
ing ringdown circuits to 
dial is expected to move 
so rapidly that new No, 
4 switchboards for ring- 
down trunks would have 
a relatively short life 
and therefore would not 
be justified. 

from such manual circuits by develop- 
ing the No. 4 switchboard as an aux- 
iliary feature of the toll crossbar sys- 
tem. Completion of development 
work was delayed by the beginning of 
World War II, and the first toll cross- 
bar system was not placed in service 
until the one in Philadelphia was cut 
over in August 1943.* 

The Philadelphia system provided 
for completing outward, inward, and 
through calls by operator dialing or 
key pulsing, as well as for the comple- 

•See "A Dial Switching System for Toll 
Calls," Magazine, Winter 1943-44. 

The Toll Dialt?ig Network 

When the Philadelphia toll cross- 
bar system was placed in service, it 
was the center of a toll dialing net- 
work of some 30 toll centers, the 
most distant of which was Richmond, 
about 250 miles away. Most of the 
others were within a radius of 100 
miles of Philadelphia. 

New York, Chicago, and Phila- 
delphia now are part of a greatly ex- 
panded toll dialing network which 
includes 125 toll centers, each of 
which has a number of tributary com- 


Toll Dialing by Operators 


munities also reached 
by toll dialing. These 
are scattered across the 
country from as far 
south as Miami and as 
far west as Sacramento, 
Cal., and Portland, Ore. 
Operators in these 125 
toll centers now are com- 
pleting calls to a total 
of some 300 cities and 
towns within the net- 
work by dialing over di- 
rect circuits and through 
switching centers. 

In this network. New 
York, Chicago, and 
Philadelphia are the 
key switching centers. 
These tie together the 
self-contained dialing 
networks covering lim- 
ited areas which have 
been in operation for a 
number of years in East- 
ern Pennsylvania, Vir- 
ginia, Ohio, and else- 

The No. 5 Switchboard, for handling calls which cannot 

be dialed through the equipment. This type of board, 

which handles calls from operators, corresponds to the 

local DSA board for handling calls from customers 

Equipment Features 


two basic parts. 

One is a series of frames and cross- 
bar switches on which are terminated 
the various trunks which are to be 
connected. These consist of tandem 
trunks from outward positions, toll 

Delayed-Call, and other assistance 
operators. Paths or links are pro- 
vided between these frames for con- 
necting tandem trunks to toll circuits 
on outward calls, for connecting toll 
circuits to switching or operator 
trunks for incoming calls, and for con- 
necting toll circuits to other toll cir- 
cuits on through calls. 

An incoming and an outgoing trunk 
on these frames, and the links con- 

circuits to and from other cities, toll necting them, are in use until the end 

switching trunks to local offices in the of a conversation. The frames and 

city where the toll system is located, crossbar switches on which the trunks 

and trunks for reaching Information, are terminated correspond to the an- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


swering jacks and multiple of a man- 
ual toll switchboard, and the links 
between the frames correspond to the 
cords used by an operator in establish- 
ing connections. 


In place of an operator, however, a 
toll crossbar system has "control" ap- 
paratus which establishes the connec- 
tion. This control apparatus is the 
other basic part of the toll crossbar 

It consists of controllers, senders, 
markers, and other equipment whose 
function it is to receive an order in the 
form of electrical pulses, to set up 
the required connection to the proper 
trunk, and to pass along any further 
information in the form of electrical 
pulses which are needed to complete 
the connection in the next office. 

This equipment is in use only from 
the time an operator takes up a 
trunk to the crossbar system until the 
connection is established. The length 
of time a sender is held ranges from 
about 8 to 12 seconds, and the hold- 
ing time on controllers and on markers 
is measured in fractions of a second. 
As soon as the control equipment has 
finished setting up one call, it is ready 
for the next one. 

This division of the toll switching 
system into two basic parts — frames 
with connecting links, and entirely 
separate control apparatus — is neces- 
sary in order to make most effective 
use of the costly toll switching equip- 
ment and to obtain the necessary 
flexibility in operation. 

In addition to the dial equipment 
in the New York and Chicago toll 
crossbar systems, special switchboards 
known as No. 5 boards are provided 

for handling calls which cannot be 
dialed through the equipment. 

The No. 5 board corresponds to 
the DSA board used in local dial of- 
fices for handling assistance traffic 
from customers. The No. 5, how- 
ever, has double plugs and twin jacks 
in order to provide the same grade of 
transmission on calls completed at the 
switchboard as on calls dialed through 
the machine. 

Besides trunks from and to the dial 
equipment, the No. 5 board has spe- 
cial facilities by means of which an 
operator can tell when all the toll cir- 
cuits in any group are busy and when 
one or more circuits are idle. This 
indication helps the No. 5 operator 
complete calls that have been delayed 
by a "No Circuit" condition on which 
an outward operator has requested 

Each position is equipped with a 
key set of ten keys, numbered i to o 
and bearing the same letters as on a 
telephone dial. There is a separate 
"key pulsing" key which is operated 
first to connect the key set with the 
cord the operator is using, and an- 
other key which is operated after the 
digits of the desired number have 
been pulsed to indicate to the machine 
that no more digits are coming. 
These key sets take the place of the 
dials generally used on the smaller 
DSA boards. 

How Calls are Handled 

The cut-overs of the New York and 
Chicago toll crossbar systems made no 
change in the way customers place 
their toll calls, but it did change the 
method operators in these and other 
cities use in completing such calls to 
points in the toll dialing network. 
When an outward operator in Chi- 



Toll Dialing by Operators 

cago, for example, receives a call for 
a New York number, such as PEnn- 
sylvania 1-2345, she takes up an idle 
tandem trunk to the machine and "key 
pulses" the code "212" followed by 
two letters of the office name and the 
remaining digits, 1-2345. 

The control mechanism in Chicago 
uses the code "212" to select an idle 
circuit to New York, and pulses the 
called number forward into the New 
York switching system. 

The New York machine uses the 
code "PE i" to select an idle trunk 
to the PEnnsylvania i office, and 
transmits the remaining digits to the 
local office. 

The dial equipment in 
the local office sets up 
the connection and starts 
ringing the called num- 

The key set on the 
outward position with 
which the operator key 
pulses the code and num- 
ber is similar to the one 
on the No. 5 board al- 
ready described. The 
operator obtains the 
code for New York, 
"212," from a position 
bulletin which lists the 
codes for frequently 
called points. If the op- 
erator receives a call for 
a point not on the po- 
sition bulletin, she refers 
to the route desk for the 
needed information. 

If the called telephone 
is busy, the busy signal 
is received by the Chi- 
cago operator and by the 
customer. The operator 
disconnects and makes 

another attempt a few minutes later. 
When the Chicago operator discon- 
nects from the tandem trunk, the 
whole connection is released — includ- 
ing the links in the Chicago machine, 
the New York circuit, the links in the 
New York machine, the switching 
trunks to the PEnnsylvania i office, 
and the equipment in the local office. 

If the call had been placed without 
the called number, the Chicago oper- 
ator would have first reached the New 
York information bureau. She does 
this by key-pulsing the code "212" 
as before to reach New York and 
then "131," which is the universal toll 
code for information. Having ob- 

Dial senders and marker connectors: essential parts of 
the control apparatus of a toll crossbar system 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


tained the number, the Chicago op- 
erator disconnects and again pulses 
the New York code followed by the 
number. The procedure is the same 
as when a customer dials information, 
learns the number, hangs up, and then 
dials the number. 

When a Chicago customer reports 
that he is ready to talk on an incom- 
ing call by saying, for example, "New 
York operator 68 1 is calling me," the 
Chicago operator pulses the New 
York code 212 followed by 11-681. 
The New York machine on receipt of 
the digits 11-681 connects with oper- 
ator 681, who has the original ticket 
and who will then complete the con- 
nection. The digits "11" are pre- 
fixed by the operator who handles the 
report in all cases when a connection 
is to be made to an outward delayed- 
call operator. 

A CODE, such as 2 1 2 for New York, is 
assigned to each direct circuit group 
connected to a toll crossbar system. 
Dialing is not limited to direct cir- 
cuit points, however, and codes also 
are listed on the switchboard bulletin 
for points reached over built-up cir- 

If a Stamford, Connecticut, opera- 
tor receives a call for Chicago, 
CAlumet 4-1234, she finds from the 
bulletin that the route is "New York 
312 + 2L." This tells the Stamford 
operator that she should take up a 
New York circuit and dial 312 fol- 
lowed by two letters of the office 
name and the called number. The 
digits 312 are used by the New York 
machine to select a circuit to Chicago. 
The digits CA 4 are used by the Chi- 
cago machine to select a trunk to the 
CAlumet 4 ofl^ice, and, finally the 
digits of the called number, 1234, are 

used by the local dial system to reach 
the desired telephone. 

The Stamford operator actually 
dialed the code and number, since the 
Stamford switchboard is equipped 
with dials rather than with key sets 
such as are used in New York and 

In the example just described, if 
all of the circuits from New York to 
Chicago had been in use, the Stam- 
ford operator would have received a 
slow flash called the "overflow" sig- 
nal on a cord of her position. When 
a circuit becomes free, the signal 
changes to a rapid flash, called the 
"re-order," and the operator discon- 
nects and dials the code again. In 
the event that all circuits again be- 
come busy between the time the re- 
order signal was received and the 
Stamford operator dials the call 
again, Stamford again receives the 
overflow signal. Experience has 
shown, however, that in a high pro- 
portion of cases an operator does 
secure a circuit after receipt of a re- 
order signal. 

The calls described so far have all 
been between dialing points, but many 
cities have not yet been converted to 
dial operation or have not yet been 
connected to the dialing network. 
Arrangements have had to be made, 
therefore, to connect toll oflfices 
equipped for toll dialing with points 
still reached over ringdown circuits. 
For example, on a call from Stam- 
ford to Pittsburgh, which can be 
reached only over ringdown circuits, 
the Stamford operator takes up a cir- 
cuit to New York and dials the code 
"122" as shown on her bulletin. On 
receipt of this code the New York 
machine connects a trunk to a manual 


Toll Dialing by Operators 


tandem operator in New York who 
has direct access to the Pittsburgh 
circuits in the multiple. When the 
tandem operator is connected, the 
Stamford operator hears an "order" 
tone and passes the order for a Pitts- 
burgh circuit. The tandem operator 
connects to an idle circuit, which is 
rung automatically; and when the 
Pittsburgh operator answers, the call 
is completed in the manner usual un- 
der ringdown operation. 

On a call in the reverse direc- 
tion, from Pittsburgh to Stamford 
3-1234, connection has to be made 
from a ringdown circuit to a city 

which can be reached from New York 
only by dialing. In this case the Pitts- 
burgh operator takes up a circuit to 
New York, as indicated on the switch- 
board bulletin, which shows the route 
to Stamford as "Via New York." 
When the New York operator is 
reached, Pittsburgh asks for Stam- 
ford and New York replies with the 
phrase "Dialing." This indicates that 
the New York operator dials Stam- 
ford numbers. Pittsburgh gives the 
Stamford number, 3-1234, to the 
New York operator, and she takes up 
a tandem trunk to the machine and 
key-pulses the Stamford code 057 fol- 

Frames with crossbar switches for terminating incoming and outgoing trunks in 

crossbar system 



Bell Telephone Magazine 


lowed by the digits of the called num- 

The Stamford code and the fact 
that Stamford is reached over dialing 
circuits are shown on the switchboard 
bulletin at the New York "through" 
position. The New York machine, 
on receipt of the code 057, connects 
with a Stamford circuit and trans- 
mits the called number 3-1234 to 
the Stamford dial equipment, which 
makes the connection with the desired 

At the present time, the New York 
and Chicago toll crossbar systems are 
limited to dialing a maximum of 14 
digits, which is enough for all direct 
and one-switch calls. When a call re- 
quiring two or more switches and 
more than 14 digits is involved, which 
happens on two or three percent of 
the traffic, it has to be passed to an 
inward operator at an intermediate 
office for completion. The "Inward 
Operator" code "121" is used for 
this purpose as well as for other cases 
where an outward operator requires 
assistance at a terminating or at an 
intermediate office. 

Advantages of Toll Crossbar 

The advantages of the New York 
and Chicago toll switching systems in 
speed of completion, dependability, 
uniformity of service, and prompt re- 
lease of circuits at the end of conver- 
sation are similar to the advantages 
of local dial service as compared to 
manual operation. 

On those toll calls which are com- 
pleted by the toll dialing method 

•See "Operator Toll Dialing: A New Long 
Distance Method," Magazine, Summer 1944; 
and "Operator Toll Dialing: The Coming 
Way," Magazine, Winter 1947-48. 

through these switching systems, ma- 
chine handling of tandem, through, 
and inward connections improves the 
over-all speed of service by 10 to 30 

Since the cord connections inherent 
with ringdown operation at the tan- 
dem board and at distant offices are 
eliminated, the hazards of accidental 
interruptions or of cut-offs are greatly 

Service is more uniform, because 
sufficient equipment is provided to 
handle the calls expected during the 
busy hours of the busy season and it 
is all available 24 hours a day and 
every day of the year to handle un- 
expected peaks in off hours. 

As the hang-up of the customer re- 
leases the connection at once in local 
dial operation, so the disconnect of 
the outward operator on dialed toll 
calls releases the toll circuit and all of 
the equipment connected. The de- 
crease in connection time and faster 
release at the end of conversation is 
expected to bring about a correspond- 
ing decrease in toll circuit require- 

In Chicago and New York, about 
20 and 30 percent respectively of the 
toll circuits are now connected to the 
toll crossbar switching systems. These 
percentages will increase rapidly as 
other crossbar systems are installed 
during 1949 in Cleveland, in San 
Francisco-Oakland, and in Boston, 
and toll dialing equipment of differ- 
ent type is provided in other cities. 
Further installations are planned for 
future years. 

Outlook for the Future 

The New York and Chicago toll 
switching systems at the moment rep- 
resent the latest word in machine han- 


Toll Dialing by Operators 


dling of long distance traffic. How- 
ever, development of new features is 
well under way, and it is expected 
that in a few years a nation-wide toll 
dialing plan can be placed in effect 
which will do away with the present 
limitations and ultimately will make 
it possible for a toll operator any- 
where to dial a telephone in any 
other city in the country. These 
new developments will provide auto- 
matic alternative routing in case all 

circuits on the first route are busy, 
and will employ a nation-wide num- 
bering plan which will greatly sim- 
plify the routing of calls and reduce 
the number of digits required for any 
call to a maximum of 1 1. 

When these new facilities are 
placed in service, it is expected that 
the handling of toll calls by operators 
will be substantially as fast and as 
convenient as the dialing of local calls 
by customers. 

Rural Telephones 

The axxouncement that the 
i,ooo,oooth Bell System rural tele- 
phone to be added since the war has 
been installed in a North Carolina 
farmhouse calls to public attention 
the speed with which the telephone 
company has moved in recent years 
to extend and improve telephone 
service. Soon after the end of the 
war in 1945 the Bell System set up 
a goal of 1,000,000 rural telephones 
in five years. The job has been done 
in only a little more than three years 
despite serious shortages of all sorts 
of supplies. 

Fulfillment of such a task meant 
that rural telephones had to be in- 
stalled at the rate of more than 1,000 
every working day, more than three 
times the rate of any previous period 
in Bell System history. Vast amounts 
of materials and equipment were re- 

quired. One and one-quarter million 
telephone poles had to be erected, 
while the length of telephone wire 
required — about 500,000 miles — was 
enough to stretch around the earth 
twenty times. 

As a result of the work by Bell 
System companies and the active 
building programs of other telephone 
companies the number of American 
farm homes that now enjoy the bene- 
fits of this service is impressive. It 
is estimated that about 45 per cent 
of the farms of the country have 
telephones, more than at any time in 
the nation's history. This compares 
with 32 per cent at the beginning of 
1945 and 25 per cent early in 1940. 
Still the task is far from finished ; 
the work goes on, and we are assured 
that future progress will be rapid. 

From the New York Times. 

Fair Exchange 

John Mason Brown 

He had done it the year before with the 
spring of a clock. By wire from one room 
to another he had managed to transmit a 
twanging sound. Then on March lO, 
1876 (oh, noteworthy date which our chil- 
dren often make regrettable), Alexander 
Graham Bell took the next step forward. 
Also by wire he at last succeeded in sending 
his own voice from one room to another. 
He was able to cajole his little contraption 
into conveying a single sentence. 

The sentence was full of urgency and 
business, and as brief as all of us think 
other people's phone calls should be. "Mr. 
Watson, come here, I want you." That 
was all. No hellos, no goodbyes, no talk 
about the weather, no chitchat, no gossip — 
the perfect, if abandoned, model for all sub- 
sequent conversations transmitted by such 
means. But the telephone was here to stay, 
adding to the blessings of mankind and the 
problems of parents. If its coming has 
caused the world to shrink, it has also di- 
minished the chances fathers and mothers 
might have of talking to their friends, once 
their young reach the age when they, too, 
discover the telephone. 

It is we, the parents, who speed this dis- 
covery. For our vanity we pay heavily. 
Moreover, we deserve to. When they, the 
children, are what the garment-makers and 
the whimsy-manufacturers refer to as tiny 
tots (whose heads are as yet undersized for 
telephonic needs), we think it cute to lift 
them on our laps, to hold the receiver first 
to their ears, then to cup the mouthpiece 
to their lips, nudging them all the while 
into terrified talk with Granny or Grand- 
pop, with Uncle P. or Cousin Joe. 

We do this wreathed in smiles, but prod- 
ding arduously, prompting anxiously, on 

feast days or on anniversaries when long 
distance has annihilated geography. We 
do this when such epigrams as "Mewwy 
Chwistmas, Gwanny!" or "I'se fine. Is 
you ?" travel a thousand miles, demanding 
the services of how many linemen, opera- 
tors, and technicians Walter Gifford only 
knows. Little do we realize that, by hav- 
ing done this, we have undone ourselves. 

In contemporary life the mastery of the 
telephone is a proof of the approach of age. 
Like the first tooth, the last diaper, and the 
formula no longer needed ; like those great 
moments when rolling over is transformed 
into crawling and crawling into perilous 
steps ; like those releasing days when shoe- 
laces and neckties can at last be tied and 
handkerchiefs used with accuracy; like 
those genuine occasions when the scooter 
succeeds the velocipede and the bicycle ousts 
the scooter ; when parents' freezing arms 
are replaced by waterwings and waterwings 
by breast strokes ; or when play school turns 
into day school, and short pants into long, 
the full uninhibited employment of the tele- 
phone comes as a milepost on the difficult 
path to growing up. 

"He is very good at the telephone," we 
say of a seven-year-older, meaning that he 
can take messages with as much accuracy as 
the operator of a hotel switchboard. Al- 
though this may be true, all things consid- 
ered it is the most niggardly of praise. The 
stubborn fact is, however, that the children 
we go to such pains to initiate soon take 

At breakfast or after school hours and 
during the whole of their vacations when 
they are home, they cannot be pried away 
from the telephone. A receiver becomes 
their third ear; a mouthpiece, their extra 

Fair Exchange 


lip. Where formerly they functioned as 
ventriloquists' dummies for our guiding 
whispers ("Say, 'How are you, Grand- 
pop?'"; "Say, 'Thanks for the present'"; 
"Say, 'Love to Granny' " ; "Say, 'I had a 
very nice time'"), they blossom suddenly 
into filibusterers. They could not talk 
with more relish, at greater length, about 
less on the phone if they were adults. Be- 
fore you can say Alexander Graham Bell, 
they own the controlling stock in the house- 
hold installation. 

My younger boy, being seven, is not yet 
an habitual dialer. Even so, he has his fun 
with the telephone. It ranks high among 
his toys. Our mounting bills indicate that 
he has a train-dispatcher's interest in time. 
Not time as it remains stationary on his 
battered and unwound alarm clock. No, 
time as it is considerately vocalized by the 
telephone company for those without sun- 
dials or watches. He never tires of the 
voices, melodious or metallic, which merely 
by dialing ME 7-1 2 12 can be provoked 
into announcing, "When you hear the sig- 
nal," etc. What is far worse from the 
point of the family budget, he has long 
since learned that he can get the same re- 
sults by trying nervous. Luckily, his in- 
terest in the weather has not as yet be- 
come as great as his interest in time, and 
WE 6-1 2 12 has not taken its place among 
his private numbers. 

He has his serious uses for the phone — 
birthday parties, motion-picture dates, and 
occasional, very abrupt conversations with 
his contemporaries. These consist mainlv 
of "Yes," "No," "Why," "Sure," and 
"When." As a rule, in spite of all ad- 
monitions, they end with the replaced re- 
ceiver serving as a substitute for a more 
courtly "Goodbye." 

My eleven-year-old boy has, like his 
friends, reached years of greater communi- 
cation on the telephone. They call each 
other incessantly at all hours on matters 
which, to them, are never trivial. Subjects 
as imperative as tomorrow's homework; 
who has mumps, measles, or appendicitis; 

who got what prize from what cereal ; who 
listened to which radio program; who has 
read what comic; who has heard from 
Charlie Atlas; or how much fishing tackle 
or bicycle equipment has arrived from 
Sears-Roebuck — all these are topics of in- 
terminable interest which keep me and the 
wires burning. 

Youngsters do not salute each other on 
the phone the way their elders do or, for 
that matter, the way their elders would 
like them to. I can't help shuddering when 
I hear my older son greet a friend with a 
curt, "Hello, whadda ya want?" Nothing 
more than that, though the friend may have 
nothing more unfriendly on his mind than 
to invite him for a week-end or to a birth- 
day party. I shudder with equal violence 
when, instead of mustering a "Thanks," 
he says, "Well, so long. I'm listening to 
Henry Morgan." 

My wife and I already sense that, so far 
as our telephone is concerned, we are fight- 
ing a losing battle. What we are now sur- 
viving are, of course, only preliminary 
skirmishes. Our telephone will not be en- 
tirely lost to us until, one inevitable after- 
noon, we hear one of our boys, in an un- 
reliable voice, whisper "dearest" or "dar- 
ling" into our phone. 

We may regret it when our young have 
sprouted to the point where our telephones 
become theirs. But let any of us hear their 
voices when, from a friend's house, they 
are calling us at home, or we are long- 
distancing from a journey, and all is for- 
given. No letters, however eloquent, can 
say what their young voices say merely 
by being heard. When they speak un- 
prompted ; when the talk is at last two- 
way; when the interchange of ideas and 
interests is genuine, then Bell becomes our 
hero, and all those bills sent in by his com- 
pany dwindle into insignificance. 

Drama critic, war correspondent, essay- 
ist, Mr. Brown is an associate editor 
of "The Saturday Review of Literature" 
— from which publication the foregoing 
is reprinted in part, by permission. 

Negotiations before Construction Provide Routes over 

Privately-owned Property for the Long Lines Department' s 

Nation-wide Telephone Network 

Right-of-Way Comes First 

Harry H. Hoopes 

During 1947 the Long Lines De- 
partment of the American Telephone 
and Telegraph Company engaged in 
purchasing rights of way in 17 States 
for 25 new main telephone lines and 
six branch lines which total 3,368 
miles in length. The lines were 
constructed generally on privately 
owned land. To build a telephone 
line on other peoples' property is 
a privilege, certainly. How is that 
privilege obtained so extensively? 

It is obtained by men whose title 
defines their work: Right-of-Way- 
Men. For each individual property 
crossed by the line, a separate nego- 
tiation by a Right-of-Way man is re- 
quired to secure the necessary right 
of way. In the Long Lines Legal 
Department are half a hundred of 
these employees, working out of Divi- 
sion Headquarters offices throughout 
the country, whose responsibility it is 
to obtain, as not only a privilege but 
a purchased right, the essential per- 
mission which must precede construc- 

When a new line is to be con- 

structed, the first step is the selection 
of a tentative route by the Engineer- 
ing Department, usually from road 
and topographical survey maps. Nat- 
urally, the shortest practicable route 
between key cities is selected. After 
it has been drafted on the maps, rep- 
resentatives of the Engineering De- 
partment drive over the roads near- 
est the route, to make a preliminary 
investigation of the physical nature 
of the land. 

If the selected route looks feasible, 
aerial photographs showing the area 
involved are usually ordered from 
the Department of Agriculture, 
which has an aerial survey of a large 
part of the United States. There 
are, however, some sections that 
have not yet been photographed; 
and if the route crosses the area 
where photographs are not available, 
or where existing photographs are 
out of date, the company often has 
commercial aerial photographers take 
pictures of the section. 

As soon as the aerial photographs 
are obtained, they are turned over to 

Right-oJ-Way Comes First 


the RIght-of-Way Men, with the 
tentative route indicated on each 
print. The prints furnished are about 
24 inches square and are photo- 
graphed to a scale of 660 feet to the 
inch, so that each print covers about 
three miles of line. The detail on 
these photographs is quite remark- 
able, showing the roads, streams and 
waterways, woodland, all intervening 
fence lines, and buildings. Obviously, 
they are a great help to the Right-of- 
Way Man in negotiating for the 
rights of way. The property owners 
too are usually very much interested 
in seeing an aerial photograph of 
their property. 

Fortified with these photos, the 
Right-of-Way Man is prepared to 
proceed with his job of securing the 
rights of way. 

Before approaching the owners, 
the company makes a careful investi- 
gation of the nature of the property, 
land values, and other considerations, 
in order to determine a fair and 
equitable price to be paid for the 
right of way. This price is based on 
a certain sum per pole, if a pole line; 
or per lineal rod (i634 feet), if a 
buried cable. It is important to treat 
all property owners along a given sec- 
tion of a line alike. There are a few- 
unusual circumstances which in some 

A tentative long distance route as drawn on an aerial photograph. Even as reduced for 
publication^ rivery roads^ buildings^ woods ^ and fields are clearly distinguishable 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


cases justify a different rate of com- 

Securing the Options 

The first phase of securing the 
rights of way is the "optioning." 

It is the custom of the company to 
take only an option on the initial 
contact, jFor which a nominal consid- 
eration is paid. This instrument 
provides that, if and when the option 
is exercised, the company will pay the 
balance of the price agreed upon. 
This practice was adopted as a pre- 
cautionary measure; in the event that 
the cable route is changed and the 
property is entirely avoided, only the 
nominal consideration paid for the 
option is expended. 

At the time the option is taken, 
the Right-of-Way Man is just feeling 
his way along. First, he must ascer- 
tain the name of each property owner 
and his place of residence, if not on 
the premises. Then, when the owner 
is located, in addition to securing the 
option, he must obtain other informa- 
tion regarding the location of prop- 
erty lines, names of adjoining owners, 
information regarding liens against 
the property, and other data, if pos- 
sible, for checking titles. The County 
records are searched, to trace owner- 
ship down to date on each property. 
This search may, and not infrequently 
does, disclose that there are outstand- 
ing interests about which the Right- 
of-Way Man was not informed. 

After a substantial section of the 
line has been optioned, the Engineer- 
ing Department is advised, so it may 
proceed with an investigation of the 
physical nature of the land on each 
property. In this way the most de- 
sirable location for the line is finally 
selected. Once this has been done, 

the route is immediately surveyed, 
measured, and staked. The meas- 
urements are then converted into sta- 
tion numbers, which are inscribed on 
the stakes. From these station num- 
bers the Right-of-Way Man can 
ascertain the exact distance across 
each property, thereby determining 
the amount due each owner for the 
right of way. 

The job of having the final grants 
executed represents a tremendous 
amount of work. The complex titles 
in many cases involve property in 
which the fee is vested in unsettled 
estates. Frequently, minors or in- 
competents are involved. In such 
cases guardians must be appointed, 
and court approval must be obtained 
for the guardian to execute the grant. 
Locating and communicating with 
non-resident heirs presents another 
difficult problem; sometimes the ad- 
dress of a non-resident is not known. 
In addition to having the grants ex- 
ecuted, there are releases which must 
be secured from holders of liens 
against the properties involved. Cer- 
tificates of acknowledgment must be 
executed by authorized officers for 
each signature, so that the instrument 
may be placed on record. In some 
estates, from ten to twenty heirs may 
be involved, and they may be scat- 
tered throughout the United States; 
nevertheless, all these persons must 
be reached to execute the grant in or- 
der to close one property of perhaps 
only a few hundred feet. 

Construction Begins 

After the final grants are taken, 
the construction work gets under way. 
The first step is clearing the right of 
way. For a typical coaxial cable job, 


Right-of-JVay Comes First 


■ wlih ^^ 

cliilnir the rlKhu tn-rein prmnt^^^l^w^M^^WTifaotf 
■tlon* fTwm lh» •urfaci- ttOd «ut«urf«c« of MM 
aid itrlp th* utiti'Tsround v-mblat, mwi-* 

ftouiidAry of Mid OR* rod Urtp »h»H b* K line iwmkt to und 
pr tiK-atUn tndloktvd vpon aurfAcr mark«-r9 »rt at Inl^rv&iit <.n Th« land of tli« utittrriictieit *. 

lU »^\\ JS .. .-. - -t sir .h»'.r», exe^-uloro, ad)n)nlalraiui>. suu««a!iors Ai-i ■ ^-.k:-'-. '-^ 

V> "nltted Ml »ald Hrlp. Th» >tsnl<><-> nKn-'- to juy (..r ■ijiu^fi to fencM atiJ k' 
^n RfoMRtid »y»teni». 

|R« land' i»i ■■■ Ul^ ^^1 aiiil from 

and within avv«n r**l th«r(H>f, to Inmall Ka'*^'' in any fanca rrcaair-a 
othrr I'omjtany. Tha flaStflrly 

cir*:ii'J9 and api>urtcaan<>» of aiiy 
ind f Its tMl OBiBi 

h« nr.1 <«bl« laid. «h!i h . 
I landa. Th« un4«r»i(n*d f- 

,:!t il.i,; 1 „ utrj, tur. .hall 



.10 47 . .J. Fl^tte City, Missouri. « 




appeared ''**-*** *---»*v^vw.^, ^*»*w--, ->...- 

single; IlnoTB McClaic sni ^er„'.le 
husbanl^; IVrfa Ode and Valtcr C'.e, 

Mgncd auibofitv. on thji 
Alna Hancock, widov;' Vlr.f ! 

day person 

-Id Scot 


<kscribeti iii, aiKi 

aztd acknowledged that . 

husbfind; Johr. Hancock, 

descnbed in, ar 
A^liced ihat^" 
free act aR<i deeii. 

// took the signatures of ten persons having an interest in the property to validate this 

grant of right of way 

for Instance, this includes opening all 
fences and installing appropriate 
gates for the crews to use, cutting 
down trees and pulling the stumps, 
grading creek and road banks, and 
digging pits on each side of hard sur- 
faced roads for the purpose of driv- 
ing pipes under the roads. 

The cable reels are delivered at 
their designated locations. The 
rooter plow makes its run. The ca- 
ble-laying plow lays the cable in the 
slot. Splicing pits are dug, and the 
cable is spliced and tested and made 
ready for service. And the clean-up 
crew sees that the right of way is 
left in good workmanlike condition. 

Following the construction, the 
Right-of-Way Man is confronted 
with one more task. A settlement 
for crop or other damages resulting 

from the construction work must be 
made with each owner or tenant. 
The damages which may arise from 
the construction cannot be antici- 
pated, so they must be adjusted after 
the line is constructed. On many 
jobs, the line is actually in service be- 
fore the damage claims are settled. 
When a new line is to be built, the 
right of way must be acquired before 
any construction activities can begin. 
Actually, the entire project hinges on 
the results of the Right-of-Way Man 
in his negotiations with the property 
owners. Rights for every property 
must be secured. There can be no 
missing links in the chain. For if 
the Right-of-Way Man fails to se- 
cure the right of way on one prop- 
erty, this makes it necessary to re- 
route the line to avoid the property. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Such a change in the route may well 
result in a substantial change in line 
on several adjoining properties. Some 
of the properties on which options 
have already been taken may be 
missed entirely. In such cases, the 
Right-of-Way Man must reach the 
owners involved, to arrange for the 
new location. As well as causing the 
Right-of-Way Man considerable ad- 
ditional work, a change in the line 
causes the engineers no end of trouble 
re-surveying, changing station num- 
bers, and changing the over-all length 
of the line, which in turn involves the 
loading layout and repeater locations. 
Indeed, the failure of the Right-of- 
Way Man to secure rights on a single 
property could be serious. 

Additional Duties 

The Right-of-Way Man is not in- 
fallible. There are at times instances 
where he is not successful and the im- 
portance of the project is such that 
the company is forced to resort to 
eminent-domain proceedings. But in 
the past dozen years it has been nec- 
essary to acquire rights through such 
proceedings in only fifty instances. 
This is but a tiny percentage of the 
thousands of properties involved. 

In addition to securing rights of 
way for new lines, the Right-of-Way 
Man does a great deal of other work 
in connection with the maintenance of 
existing lines. Replacement work 
must be done periodically, and fre- 
quently new poles or guys are added 
to strengthen the lines. The cutting 
of dangerous and interfering trees 
must be attended to from time to 
time. This maintenance work almost 
always requires additional rights, 
which the Right-of-Way Man must 

secure. There is also the matter of 
purchasing building sites for the con- 
struction of repeater stations and 
micro-wave radio relay stations. And 
the settlement of claims against the 
company and of claims of the com- 
pany against others is included in his 

While the Right-of-Way Man en- 
counters a variety of difficulties, there 
are compensating elements. Fortu- 
nately, most of the people of our 
country are fine, progressive, and 
public spirited citizens. In most 
cases, the owner does not wish to 
stand in the way of progress, and it is 
his genuine desire to cooperate, rather 
than the payment he receives for the 
right of way, that prompts him to 
grant the company a right of way 
across his property. Of course, there 
are bound to be a few exceptions; but 
a great majority of property owners 
are extremely interested in the tre- 
mendous development in the field of 
communications today. Many of them 
feel that in granting the company a 
right of way across their land, they 
are making an individual contribu- 
tion toward the communication sys- 
tem of the nation. 

The Kind of Job It Is 

Right-of-way work is a highly spe- 
cialized job, and certain fundamental 
qualifications are required. 

First of all, a Right-of-Way Man 
should have more than average 
"P.Q.," * which is a measure of what 
a person does about things and peo- 
ple. It is a yardstick of the traits re- 
quired to get along with people. 
Really, his "P.Q." is more important 
than his ''I.Q." 

He must be somewhat of a vaga- 

• I.E., "Personality Quotient." 


Right-qf-Way Comes First 


bond, since a great amount of travel 
is involved in the work. A Right-of- 
Way Man drives his car from 25,000 
to 30,000 miles in a normal year. 

He should be quite willing to live a 
good part of the time in hotels and 
eat restaurant food — not to mention 
an occasional lunch of cheese and 
crackers plus a bottle of pop, which 
is a popular country grocery store 

The ability to plow a straight fur- 
row, milk a cow, husk a shock of corn, 
or cut up a cord of wood at times 
makes a very favorable impression on 
a farmer. 

Each job is in many respects like 
each individual: no two are quite 
alike. Many are rush jobs. The 
physical nature of the land varies on 
nearly every job. On one job, a 
great deal of woodland is involved, 
on another there are rugged moun- 
tains to cross. Some lines pass al- 
most entirely through wide open 
spaces ; others, through numerous vil- 
lages and towns along the route. 
Some areas are composed of large 
tracts; others, of very small prop- 

All these conditions have some ef- 
fect in the securing of rights of way. 
For this reason, no two jobs of com- 
parable length are completed in the 
same amount of time. The time re- 
quired to secure the rights of way on 
a new line is quite unpredictable. In- 
creasing the number of Right-of-Way 
Men on a job does not necessarily re- 
sult in the job's being completed in a 
shorter time. Certain situations arise 
on every job which take time to iron 
out, and there are no short-cuts. 

In spite of the complications in- 
volved in securing rights of way, 
many jobs — not only the rights of 

way but the engineering and construc- 
tion as well — are completed in fast 
time. By way of illustration : 

A few years ago a new line was to 
be constructed between two key cities 
over a distance of approximately 
eighty miles. This was a super rush 
job; so much so, in fact, that the right 
of way was scheduled to be optioned 
and paid off in six weeks. This was 
a rather large order, but it was ac- 
complished in six weeks from the day 
the first option was taken. The con- 
struction forces began work on part 
of the line in less than four weeks 
after the optioning was begun. The 
Plant Department was able to pro- 
ceed with its construction on the en- 
tire line in six weeks to the day! 

In addition to optioning the eighty 
miles, twenty miles of the original 
route had to be re-routed after it 
had been optioned. This required 
the optioning of an additional twenty 
miles on the re-route, or a total of 
100 miles optioned in the six-week 
period. Six Right-of-Way Men did 
this job, including the purchase of five 
repeater stations sites. 

Never a Thill Moment 

Contacts with property owners 
along the route of a line are not with- 
out their interesting incidents. 

Some time ago a construction gang 
of a dozen men was digging holes for 
the construction of a pole line, which 
ran diagonally across a twentv-acre 
field adjoining some farm build- 
ings. The farmer and his wife had 
already granted the right of way, of 
course; but the farmer believed for 
some reason that he should have been 
paid a larger sum, and he decided not 
to permit the line to be constructed 
across his farm until he received ad- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Since most Long Lines cables run cross-country^ much of the Right-qf-Way Man^s time 
and effort are spent in rural areas — as in the instance pictured here 

ditional compensation. So he ordered 
the men out of his field. The fore- 
man immediately got in touch with 
the Right-of-Way Man, who tried to 
reason with the owner. As a last re- 
sort, the Right-of-Way Man told the 
crew that it could go ahead with the 

The farmer then went to his barn 
and turned out into the field a vicious 
bull. In less time that it takes to tell, 
all the men were out of the field and 
some had put two or three fences 
between them and the bull, which was 
pawing up the earth and bellowing. 
The Right-of-Way Man again at- 
tempted to reason with the farmer, 
and also exhibited to him the right- 
of-way grant that he and his wife 
had previously executed. To this the 
farmer's response was, "Why don't 
you show that paper to the bull?" 

An example of how important it 
is for the Right-of-Way Man to fa- 
miliarize himself fully with the prop- 

erties under negotiation was the ac- 
quisition of right of way from a very 
obdurate property owner in the South. 
When the Right-of-Way Man 
called regarding the right of way, 
the owner virtually turned his back 
and walked away and would not dis- 
cuss the matter at all. From the re- 
cords it was learned that the tract 
in question was bounded on one side 
by the run of Goose Creek. It was 
observed from certain indications on 
the ground, confirmed by local in- 
quiry, that the creek had changed its 
course. As a result, the tract had ap- 
parently decreased in size approxi- 
mately eight acres, which were not in 
the possession of the true owner, the 
individual from whom the right of 
way had to be acquired. Armed with 
this Information, the Right-of-Way 
Man called on the property owner 
and immediately asked whether an 
agreement could be reached regard- 
ing the right of way if he were shown 


Right-of-Way Comes First 


that he was the true owner of eight 
acres of land which he did not know 
about. He agreed to the proposition 
that, if the Right-of-Way Man could 
prove the point, there would be no 
further difficulty about the right of 
way. Accordingly, he was shown 
that the deeds under which his title 
was derived had always referred to 
the run of the creek as the boundary 
line on that side, and that when the 
creek had changed its course the old 
boundary line continued to be the 
true one. 

The owner was delighted to obtain 
this information and had a survey 
made, which indicated that actually 
some fifteen additional acres thus 
rightfully belonged to him. Needless 
to say, the right of way was obtained 
without further difficulty. 

Another trying, if rather amusing, 
incident occurred several years ago 
during the building of an important 

It was absolutely necessary that the 
projected line cross the property' of 
an old hermit. He heard that the 
Right-of-Way Man intended to call 
on him, and proceeded to hide out 
every time he appeared. After sev- 
eral attempts, the Right-of-Way Man 
learned from neighbors that the old 
hermit was an accomplished violinist, 
who many years before had won an 
old-time fiddlers' contest in a nearby 
city. With this information, the 
Right-of-Way Man managed to ap- 
proach the old fellow one morning. 
The hermit was ready to run, but 
the Right-of-Way Man quickly told 
him he merely wanted to hear him 
play his violin. The hermit melted 
somewhat and consented to play. 
Prompted by the Right-of-Way 

Man's praise, the old fellow pro- 
ceeded to fiddle for some seven 
hours. Being unable to approach the 
business at hand, the Right-of-Way 
Man finally stopped the old man, an- 
nouncing that he was so pleased with 
the performance that he wished to 
take his picture. The fiddler was 
delighted to pose for several shots 
with his violin under his chin. By 
this time, he had been completely won 
over, and the grant was secured. 

The Right-of-Way Man's report 
to the office said "Mr. X signed up, 
but he was damned liberal with my 
time." This narrative will explain 
what a Right-of-Way Man means 
when he reports that he Is fiddling 
around with a property owner. 

Dealing ixtth People 

One of the most important aspects 
of a Right-of-Way Man's job is "Pub- 
lic Relations." 

Indeed, a Right-of-Way Man is a 
public relations man. On his initial 
contact, his most important respon- 
sibility is to establish friendly rela- 
tions with every individual with whom 
he deals in his negotiations for rights 
of way. Unless he succeeds in this, 
he will be unable to obtain all the 
rights he needs. 

Once friendly relations are estab- 
lished, it is most important that they 
be preserved, and the Right-of-Way 
Man exerts himself to the utmost to 
see that this is done. Yet one act of 
negligence, a discourtesy to an owner, 
or lack of reasonable consideration 
for his property, on the part of any 
telephone employee, can ruin the 
friendly relations previously estab- 

The importance of good public 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

relations with property owners may 
be illustrated by the following figures. 
In 1947, the year in which most of 
the right-of-way for 1948 construc- 
tion was purchased, the A. T. & T. 
Long Lines Department acquired 
completed rights of way for 1,843 
miles of new lines, crossing approxi- 
mately 5,300 properties, obtained 
861 mortgage releases, and pur- 
chased 179 repeater station sites. 
About 1,525 miles of new lines, cross- 
ing approximately 4,600 properties, 
were optioned; 1,027 grants were 
taken for reroutes and maintenance 
work and 18 repeater station sites 
were purchased on existing lines; 
2,265 claims for damages, arising 
from plant construction and mainte- 
nance, were settled. These activities 
entailed negotiations by Right-of- 
Way Men with some 27,000 indi- 
viduals. Added to those were many 
contacts with city councils, boards of 
county commissioners, zoning boards, 
and other governmental agencies. 

The Operating Companies of the 
Bell System also are actively engaged 
in a great expansion program, and 
their right-of-way problems are much 
the same. This is particularly true 
as regards the extension of toll lines, 

which are constructed almost entirely 
on private property. 

Thus the number of individuals 
dealt with in the acquisition of rights 
of way is very large, representing a 
cross section of our country. Every 
negotiation or contact creates some 
impression in the mind of the indi- 
vidual. Whether it is good or bad is 
up to the representative who makes 
the contact. The Right-of-Way Men 
are well aware of this, and endeavor 
to conduct themselves and their deal- 
ings appropriately. 

The activities of the three groups 
involved in constructing a new line 
function somewhat as a football team. 

The engineers act as the quarter- 
back, selecting the route and laying 
out the line. This might be consid- 
ered calling the signals. 

The Right-of-Way Men, who open 
the holes, are the blockers, running 
the interference, so to speak. 

The construction forces are the ball 
carriers, laying the cable and meeting 
the service dates. This might be 
termed making the touchdowns. 

Of course the touchdowns win the 
game, but the blockers do help make 
it possible to march down the field. 

Serving Bell System Companies from Coast to Coasts the 

Men of Western Electric s Installation Division Form a 

Mobile Force Which Is Unique in American Industry 

Installation b}^ Western 
Electric Company 

Alvin von Auw 

Between the supply and the de- 
mand, between the high-level produc- 
tion of Western Electric's factories 
and the need of the Bell System's op- 
erating companies for more central- 
office facilities, stands the Western 
Electric installer. 

Meet the installer. 

He is a member of a big and versa- 
tile branch of the Bell System : West- 
ern Electric. It manufactures for the 
System companies equipment of many 
kinds, and buys from others what it 
doesn't make. It keeps quantities of 
supplies at hand for those companies, 
through its 28 distributing houses 
from coast to coast. It installs the 
central-office equipment it makes, 
through which one telephone may be 
connected with any other telephone 
almost an}'where. 

This last is what the installer does, 
of course. He is a member of West- 
ern Electric's Installation Division. 

For more than three years now, 

the installer has occupied a decidedly 
important spot in the Bell System 
scheme of things. For it is his job 
to make ready for service the intri- 
cate central-office equipment so vital 
to the System's program of expan- 

Western Electric's Installation Di- 
vision is a force unique in American 
industry. It is a mobile force, and a 
competent one. It has to be. West- 
ern's army of installers must be de- 
ployed in widely scattered locations, 
some jobs calling for man power run- 
ning into the hundreds, some for as 
few as two or three men. For every 
type of manual, carrier, and dial equip- 
ment Western Electric makes, the in- 
stallation army must provide a match- 
ing skill. And it does. 

The Bell System maintains in this 
country a force equivalent in size and 
skill to whatever routine or emer- 
gency tasks its public responsibilities 
may require of it. The Installation 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Central-office installers don^t come ready made; their job takes training. In the face of 

an unprecedented increase in its installation force^ Western Electric turned to classroom 

instruction to supplement on-the-job training 

Division is a part of that force : one 
whose skill and experience in central- 
office installation operations may be 
applied at whatever points the needs 
of the telephone system demand. 

The Installation Division is an 
organization in which youth and ex- 
perience have joined forces to face 
the heaviest construction program in 
Bell System history. Long-service 
installers have shared their knowl- 
edge with the thousands of young 
men who, since the war, have joined 
the ranks of Installation. Today the 
average installer is 25^ years of age. 
Chances are he's a veteran, for about 
67 percent of the Division's present 

force saw service in World War II. 
To the life many installers lead, 
the word "routine" scarcely applies. 
They're on the move, seeing new 
places, new faces, and developing — 
if, indeed, they do not already pos- 
sess it — the self-reliance that comes 
from meeting and overcoming a di- 
versity of challenges, on and off the 

The post-war years have been the 
most active in all of Installation's 
history. On V-J Day there were less 
than 5,000 people on the Division's 
rolls; today there are some 22,000. 
And the measure of the increase is 
the measure of the job Installation 
has been called upon to perform. 


Installation by Western Electric Company 


Under the sharp eye of an experienced instructor^ a student installer practices the 
connecting and soldering operation as one step in the far-reaching training program 

In the campaign to reduce the 
telephone companies' "held orders" 
for service, the installers are shock 
troops. During these strenuous post- 
war years, the installer has kept pace 
with the rising tide of production in 
Western Electric's factories; he has 
pared installation intervals in order 
to provide more central-office facili- 
ties for a telephone-hungry America. 
For, month after month following 
the end of the war, as more and 
more Americans applied for telephone 
service, the number of orders for 
service unfilled because of lack of cen- 
tral office facilities mounted — despite 
Installation's progressively higher 
levels of activity. 

In the long run this sustained ef- 
fort paid off. By mid-summer of last 
year came the turning point : the curve 
of orders held for lack of central- 
office facilities turned downward from 
a peak of 1,634,117 in June 1947. 
At this writing, such orders stand at 
something less than two-thirds of 
that. There's still a big job ahead, 
but installers may well take pride in 
what has been done to date. 

Post-war Trainifig 

The man-power to meet post-war 
installation demands did not come 
ready-made. It took training. And 
the training took planning. 

Normally, "rookie" installers are 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


trained on the job through experi- 
ence, in close association with expe- 
rienced long-service installers. But 
when, during the latter days of the 
war, the Installation Division began 
to take the measure of the peace-time 
job ahead, it was immediately appar- 
ent that on-the-job training of the 
thousands of new men required would 
be impractical, and would dilute the 
experience level of the force to a dan- 
gerous low. Against the day of 
victory, then, the Division planned 
an extensive program of classroom 
training to supplement job training. 
Courses were outlined in detail: some 
to run for as long as 36 days, some 
for as little as one. Textbooks were 
prepared and training aids built. 

At its peak. Installation's nation- 
wide "vocational school" was com- 
prised of some 100 branches in 80 

Behind a manual switchboard: adding new central-office 
facilities without interrupting service over existing lines 

cities and towns. During 1946 the 
average working day found 10 per- 
cent of the field force in the class- 
room; in 1947, six percent. Training 
in 1947 accounted for approximately 
381,000 man-days. 

Training courses are divided into 
three levels: "basic," "technical ex- 
tension," and "supervisory." The 
latter is especially important in an or- 
ganization with a supervisory force 
which today numbers approximately 
75 percent of the total force which 
existed on V-J Day. Today the train- 
ing program in Installation has passed 
its peak. The force is stabilizing and 
for the most part — thanks to the in- 
tensive instructional effort of the first 
two post-war years — already posses- 
ses the skills required of it. 

Basic training continues for re- 
placement personnel, and supervisory 
training will go forward 
as well. But the need 
for organized class-room 
training in advanced in- 
stallation techniques has 
largely passed, since 
"graduates" of the train- 
ing program have dem- 
onstrated in sufficient 
numbers that their in- 
struction has given them 
the fundamental know- 
how which will enable 
them to develop ad- 
vanced skills on the job. 

Getting the right man 
to the right place at the 
right time is no mean 
feat even in normal 
times for an organiza- 
tion with the number 
and variety of tasks In- 
stallation faces. It is a 


Installation by Western Electric Company 


problem enormously increased and 
made more complex by the height- 
ened tempo of post-war activity and 
the seven-fold increase in the force. 
Training and placement of a vastly 
expanded force, however, are but 
two of the problems Installation is 
meeting and overcoming to reach its 
unprecedented post-war goals. Some 
of the difficult conditions with which 
the installer has coped include ma- 
terial shortages, building construc- 
tion delays, transportation difficulties, 
trucking and other strikes, and the 
serious housing shortage which has 
hampered assignment of personnel. 
While the housing shortage cannot be 
said to have been solved, installers 
have found the necessary accommoda- 
tions, thanks to advance surveys by 
supervisors, the ingenuity of installers 
themselves — some own trailers — and 
the help and hospitality of telephone 
company people. And whatever the 
problems, installers have faced them 
with the resourcefulness which has 
evolved in this organization over the 
years as a result of the widespread 
nature of its work. 

A look at the record will demon- 
strate how effectively these problems 
have been — in military parlance — 
neutralized. A total of 2,052,000 
dial lines and 7,471 new and re-used 
local manual and toll switchboard po- 
sitions was installed in 1948. These 
figures are 40 percent and five per- 
cent respectively over 1947, the sec- 
ond of three successive years which 
have seen previous installation rec- 
ords shattered. 

Installers are as "deadline-con- 
scious" as newspaper reporters. Of 
the 33,150 orders started during 
1948, 95 percent started on original 
schedule. Of the 33,507 orders 

completed in the same period, 91 
percent were completed on original 

Nation-wide, Unified, Flexible 

The geography of the Installation 
Division is nation-wide. Right now, 
installers are working in approxi- 
mately 1,700 buildings in about 1,500 
different cities and towns from coast 
to coast. The Division's operating 
organization is divided into three 
zones — Eastern, Central and West- 
ern. To each zone manager, five 
area managers report. The 15 areas 
are further subdivided into districts, 
headed by superintendents who, in 
turn, direct the activities of area 
supervisors stationed in centers of 
heavy installation activity. Organi- 
zation on this geographical basis per- 
mits effective liaison with Bell tele- 
phone company people from the 
headquarters to the local level. 

The flexibility feature of a unified 
nation-wide installation force is an 
important advantage to the Bell Sys- 
tem. It is an asset clearly demon- 
strated in emergencies. Take the 
case of the fire in River Grove, Illi- 
nois, a suburb of Chicago. In that 
instance, installers from nearby and 
from beyond the state's borders were 
mobilized in less than 24 hours, and 
proceeded with the hurry-up instal- 
lation of an entirely new central of- 
fice, a job which they completed in 
the record time of 1 1 days. 

As it is in emergencies, so it is with 
the Installation Division's regular 
line-of-duty contribution to Bell Sys- 
tem service. The Division takes as 
its province very nearly the entire 
area of the Bell System. And within 
that area, wherever the work is, there 
you will find the installer. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


A 5 y -volume * ' Handbook ' ' 

Coordinating and servicing these 
far-flung operations is the business of 
Installation's "general staff," quar- 
tered at 30 Church Street, in New 
York, a stone's throw from Bell Sys- 
tem headquarters at 195 Broadway. 
Uniformity of policies and practices, 
of installation techniques and stand- 
ards on a nation-wide basis, are some 
of the contributions this group makes 
to the nation-wide telephone service 
of the Bell System. It is this uni- 
formity, made effective nationally 
through common management, which 
permits two installers from widely 
separated points to be assigned to the 
same job and go to work at once as 
a team — and permits a supervisor to 
get a job rolling promptly and effec- 
tively with a crew in which he cannot 
see a single familiar face. 

This uniformity of practice is sym- 
bolized by the installer's "handbook" 
— not one volume but a veritable five- 
foot shelf of installation knowledge 
running to 57 volumes. Each job 
supervisor is equipped with those vol- 
umes pertaining to his assignments, 
and may order additional volumes as 
the need arises. For each type of 
equipment the Division installs, this 
encyclopedic work sets forth the re- 
quirements, as established by Bell 
Telephone Laboratories; the tools, 
and the methods to be employed. 

The "handbook" began, more than 
40 years ago, as a pocket-size pam- 
phlet. As central offices grew in size 
and complexity the "handbook" grew 
too, keeping pace with the develop- 
ment of the art and substituting uni- 
form practice for the "tricks of the 
trade" that characterized early instal- 
lation activity. Today its 57 volumes 

incorporate the engineering develop- 
ments and the accumulated experi- 
ence of installers over a period of 
decades — experience analyzed, codi- 
fied, and disseminated through In- 
stallation's central staff for the in- 
formation and action of all installers 

The handbook is a "how to do it" 
manual. For the "what," the "where" 
and the "how much" of each indi- 
vidual job, installers look to the 
Equipment Engineers for specifica- 
tions and blueprints. For jobs engi- 
neered by Western Electric, these 
specifications and blueprints — and the 
blueprints may run into the thou- 
sands for each of the larger projects 
— are supplied by the Hawthorne or 
Kearny Works Equipment Engineers. 
On orders engineered by a telephone 
company, the specifications and blue- 
prints — both telephone company and 
Western Electric prints — are sup- 
plied by the telephone company's 
engineers. In either case. Installa- 
tion's job is based directly upon the 
requirements of the telephone com- 
pany and — beyond the telephone com- 
pany — the needs of the community. 

Men, Tools, and Equipfnent 

The tools it takes to do the job 
are brought in by the crew, or are 
provided by the area office from other 
jobs or from Installation's central 
stock-keeping organization at the 
Hawthorne Works in Chicago. In- 
stallation is a highly specialized ac- 
tivity, and requires many tools of 
special design not generally found in 
other industries. With the growth 
of radio and allied industries, how- 
ever, many tools once exclusive with 
Installation have become standard 
and readily obtainable from outside 


Installation by Western Electric Company 


sources. Nonetheless, of the tools the 
installer uses today — from those in the 
kit that hangs from his belt to the 
most elaborate test sets — a large per- 
centage were designed by the person- 
nel of the Division itself, and repre- 
sent the latest refinements in a process 
of evolution over more than half 
a century of installation work. 

And with the installation crew 
come not only the tools required for 
the job but the furniture and fixtures 
as well — the desks and files and 
lockers. For when a job supervisor 
takes over a new assignment, he 
moves in and "sets up shop" in every 
sense of the phrase. On or before 
"start date," he and an advance guard 
of installers set up an office and a 
storeroom and arrange for the re- 
ceipt of equipment. 
Then the decks are clear 
for the material to roll 
in, and for the men who 
will transform that ma- 
terial into a fully opera- 
tive nerve center for 

In case of a 10.000- 
line crossbar dial ex- 
change of the latest type, 
the material may weigh 
in at more than 300 tons. 
Normal installing in- 
terval for such a project 
is 29 weeks. To make 
it ready for active duty 
will require a crew num- 
bering loi men at the 
peak and 56 on the av- 
erage. The man-power 
required for each suc- 
ceeding phase of the op- 
eration will have been 
determined by reference 

to Manning Requirements^ a manual 
which details the number of men 
needed for typical installations. 

Three hundred tons of equipment, 
then, and 10 1 men. To tell what the 
latter do to the former involves some 
sizable statistics. Before the job is 
done, the crew will have run more 
than 10,000,000 feet of wire in cable 
and secured it to racks. They will 
have soldered more than a million 
wire ends, each to its proper terminal. 
And they will have tested and checked 
the adjustments of some 125,000 
items of electromagnetic apparatus. 

The installer's is the final respon- 
sibility for seeing to it that all the 
Western Electric products that go 
into a central office — the coils from 
Haverhill, the switches from Duluth, 

An installer "fanning" switchboard cables at an office 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Making ready: Members of Western Electric' s Installation Division are installing cable 
rack and auxiliary framing before erecting frames for a crossbar central-office installation 

the cabling from Tonawanda, the dial 
and manual assemblies from Haw- 
thorne and Kearny, the cords from 
Point Breeze — that all, including the 
material furnished by outside sup- 
pliers, live up to the Bell System 
standards when they have been as- 
sembled as a working unit. Not till 
every circuit has been tested and the 
completed project "verified" in every 
respect does Installation put the final 
OK on Western Electric's product. 

The roving engineers from the 
staff of the Installation Division's 
Engineer of Quality, Wage and Busi- 
ness Practices constantly make quality 
samplings of jobs in every area from 
coast to coast. This quality control 
organization supplies management 
with a steady flow of information on 
the quality level being maintained by 

the field forces, thus insuring that 
prompt action may be taken when- 
ever necessary to uphold predeter- 
mined standards of workmanship. 
Installation's monthly Quality Report 
sets forth the relative quality stand- 
ings of all areas. Symbol of top 
standing is the "orchid" awarded 
each month with suitable notice in 
The Observer, the Installation Divi- 
sion's employee paper. 

Installation's emphasis on quality 
first, last, and always derives from an 
ingrained sense of the direct relation 
between equipment standards and Bell 
System service standards. There is, 
of course, strong logic in a relation- 
ship between supplier and customer 
which places responsibility for the 
quality of equipment upon the manu- 
facturer of that equipment. From 


Installation by Western Electric Company 


The final stages of installation of a crossbar central office. Compare this orderly mass 
of intricate equipment with the view on the opposite page 

this viewpoint, installation can be 
considered as an extension of West- 
ern Electric's manufacturing process : 
manufacturing which is completed on 
the customer's premises. Thus, in- 
stallation is the last link in the chain 
of services Western Electric performs 
in providing central office and PBX 
equipment to the telephone companies 
of the Bell System. 

Time was when the cutover of a 
100,000-line project like that de- 
scribed above was an occasion for 
celebration and speech-making by dig- 
nitaries, both corporate and municipal. 
Today there just isn't time. Installa- 
tion assignments come thick and fast 
these days and every assignment, 
large or small, comes "Urgent! 
Rush!" Nowadays, when a job has 
been certified ready for service, the 

installer cannot wait for dedication 
ceremonies. He's off to a new job, 
perhaps in the same town, perhaps a 
hundred miles away. 

That next job may not be a big 
city project like the 10,000-liner. 
This time you're just as likely to find 
the installer crouched behind the 
switchboard of a small town, adding 
facilities to the telephone network — 
and doing it without interrupting ex- 
isting service. Or you may find him 
at work in the desert or on a moun- 
tain top, putting in repeater stations 
on carrier lines or the equipment for 
a micro-wave radio relay station. 

Whatever the job, large or small, 
today's conditions place a constant 
demand on the installer's ingenuity 
and resourcefulness. And he is meet- 
ing the demand. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

The ^^ Itinerant hist a Her" 
of Installation 

That's in the tradition of Western 
Electric installers; a tradition that 
goes back to the days of the "first in- 
staller," Charles Brady, who worked 
out of the Clinton Street Shop in 
Chicago in the 1880s. 

Installation was a one-man opera- 
tion in those days, and so was equip- 
ment engineering. In one corner of 
the shop E. G. Hovey wrote switch- 
board specifications; in another cor- 
ner Charles Brady built and wired 
the board to meet those specifications. 
Then, the shop work completed — 
history has it — Charles would pack 
up his gear, set his derby at a rakish 
angle, and sally forth to the installa- 
tion on the customer's premises. 

So much for history: now a little 
about the "mythology" of Installa- 
tion. What Mike Fink is to the 
riverman and Paul Bunyan is to the 
woodsman, the Itinerant Installer is 
to Installation. And there are tales 
told of the Itinerant Installer that 
rival those of other heroes of Ameri- 
can legend. The chronicler of the 
deeds of the Itinerant Installer has 
been silent of late years, and perhaps 
there are men in the Installation Di- 
vision now who have never heard of 

him. Perhaps there are even some 
who, having heard of him, do not be- 
lieve. For such sceptics the chronicler 
had an answer. To old installers he 
counselled as follows: 

"Tell 'em about the super-solderer 
he was. How he tapped, laid, 
webbed, clamped and tested a 10,500 
multiple through 15 sections in two 
hours and 17 minutes. Tell 'em how 
he memorized every blueprint ever 
sent out by Hawthorne or Kearny. 
How he used to shoot trouble with 
his special trouble gun. And never 
missed. Give 'em the lowdown on 
how he used to grab two handsful of 
20-foot superstructure bars and put 
up more ironwork in 12 minutes than 
the shop could ship in two weeks. 
He could sew cable with his bare feet 
while he ran it with his hands. . . . 
He began to live on that day in the 
dim past when the first solder-slinger 
wiped the tip of his gas-heated iron 
with a horny thumb. He lives today 
and will continue to live as long as 
Crabtree Corners needs 20 more an- 
swering jacks or a more urban center 
needs another unit of crossbar. He 
lives in the hearts of installers every- 
where. . . . They know not whereof 
they speak, those who say the Itin- 
erant Installer never lived." 

The Things Men Live By 

Walter S. Gifford 

The following are excerpts from an ad- 
dress by the Chairman of the Board of 
the A. T. ^ T. Company at the Char- 
ter Night dinner, on November 5, 194S, 
of the new Pioneer chapter named in 
his honor. 

Looking back over my years in the 
business — fort}^-four and one-half, in 
fact — I can think of no enterprise I 
would rather have been in. This is not 
because I became the top of manage- 
ment, with its responsibilities, but be- 
cause, as the years went by, while every- 
thing wasn't always to my liking, I felt 
that, fundamentally, management was 
interested in fair treatment of employees 
and in seeing that each made the most 
of his or her abilities and that promo- 
tions were made as they were earned. 

Telephone Pioneers have not only 
pioneered in the art of telephony but in 
equitable treatment of employees. In 
19 1 3, thirty-five years ago, for instance, 
the Bell System pioneered in establish- 
ing a benefit plan which provided sick- 
ness, accident, and death benefits and 
pensions without cost to employees. 
How important that step was is seen 
by the fact that the pension funds, paid 
for entirely by the [Bell System] com- 
panies, now amount to over $850,000,- 

Today, many unions are seeking such 
benefits in other industries, and some 
strikes have been called in trying to get 
them. We got them thirty-five years 
ago — not by strikes or threats of strikes 
but because our management pioneered 
in labor relations as well as in technical 

developments — and it wasn't paternal- 
ism, which I for one would have re- 
sented. In putting the plan into effect, 
Mr. Vail, who was then president of 
the American Telephone and Telegraph 
Company, said, "This is justice, and 
without justice and sympathetic inter- 
est we cannot hope to do a thoroughly 
good piece of work." 

So also have been the many improve- 
ments in working conditions over the 
years. In fact, it is hard to find any 
business that offers as much — and I 
think there is no business that offers 
more — for those who have spent a sub- 
stantial part of their lives in it or, in- 
deed, for those who are just starting in 
it . . . 

We have all felt, over the years, the 
inspiration of "the message must get 
through." iVIuch of the joy of living 
would be lost if the younger members of 
our enterprise, who some day will be 
members of the Telephone Pioneers, 
fail to recognize the intangible thrill 
that comes of loyalt>', not necessarily to 
an organization, although that means 
a great deal to those who feel it, but 
loyalty to an ideal, to a job well done, 
and particularly to a job well done that 
means so much to the welfare and hap- 
piness of so many. Those, after all, are 
the things that men live by ; they are the 
kind of things that make life exciting 
and worth while. . . . 

Our country leads the world today. 
We in the telephone business will see 
to it, I am sure, that our telephone serv- 
ice continues to be the best in the world. 

Effective Handling of the Sale of Pullman Space Depends 
On Three Principal Factors: Traffic Volume^ People^ and 

Telephone Equipment 

Telephone Facilities for 
Railroad Reservations 

Justin E. Hoy 

Editor's note: This article is based on information gathered for a talk 
which the author was invited to present at the 1Q48 Annual Con- 
ference of the Communications Section of the Association of American 
Railroads, held at Colorado Springs, Colo., September 28— JO. 

The use of telephone service In the 
handling of space reservations Is a 
subject of importance to both the rail- 
roads and the telephone companies. 

To the railroads, telephone service 
is important because it is a vital link 
in the sale of "space" — "uppers," 
"lowers," "roomettes," drawing 
rooms, and other accommodations. 
Providing the service is a major op- 
eration requiring many people and 
representing a sizable item of expense 
to the railroads; and it involves a 
great many contacts with the public 
and thus affords many opportunities 
for building good public relations. 

The matter is of importance to the 
telephone companies because for prac- 
tically every unit of space sold at 
least one telephone conversation takes 
place, and frequently more. 

For both the railroads and the tele- 
phone companies, the problem of 
handling reservations is of increasing 
importance because, as time goes on, 
more and more space is being made 
available for reservation. 

Railroads follow in general one 
basic plan in handling space reserva- 
tions at a centralized bureau. 

The customer may either go in per- 
son to a ticket office to make his reser- 
vation or he may call the reservation 
bureau by telephone. If he goes in 
person to a ticket office, a ticket seller 
telephones the bureau to secure the 
space assignment. In this instance 
one telephone call takes place. 

If, on the other hand, he calls the 
bureau, he is told that the reservation 
will be held for him for a stated in- 
terval, during which he must go to a 

Telephone Facilities J or Railroad Reservations 


An example of what railroad people mean by "space": an outside-looking-in view of a 
new type of drawing room, with berths for four and seats for seven^ in a post-war 

stainless steel sleeping car 

ticket office to pick up his transporta- 
tion ticket. When he appears at the 
ticket office, the ticket seller confirms 
the space by telephoning the bureau. 
In this latter instance, two telephone 
conversations take place. 

While it is true that there are some 
deviations from this basic pattern, by 
far the majority of space sold follows 
one of the two methods just de- 

Most of the larger railroads have 
established centralized bureaus to 
handle reservations, and it will be the 
purpose of this article to discuss some 
typical telephone installations, and 
their operation in the bureaus which 
control space assignments; the more 
common problems being encountered; 
and some of the steps which have 
been taken to help solve these prob- 

It is true, of course, that in many 
cities the volume of telephone calling 
about reservations is not enough to 
warrant centralized reservation bu- 
reaus. But to the extent that tele- 
phone service is used in making reser- 
vations, the underlying communica- 
tion principles are the same. It is 
also true that in many instances the 
reservation job is only a part of a 
larger operation in the centralized 
bureau, which may also have other 
functions : the handling of informa- 
tion calls, the operation of message 
desks where communication to out- 
of-town points is concentrated. How- 
ever, this article will stick to that por- 
tion of the bureau definitely assigned 
to the reservation job. 

It may be helpful, along about 
here, to take a look at the types of 
space available for reservation. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Originally, sleeping accommoda- 
tions on trains consisted only of the 
traditional "upper" and "lower." 
Now these accommodations have been 
expanded to include sections (a com- 
bination of an upper and a lower 
berth), roomettes (a small room con- 
taining one berth and lavatory facili- 
ties), bedrooms (larger rooms, usu- 
ally having two berths), drawing 
rooms, compartments, and even apart- 
ments. In addition to sleeping ac- 
commodations, many railroads are 
expanding the practice of reserving 
seat space in coaches. 

To complicate further the job of 
the railroad reservation people, Pull- 
man cars themselves differ greatly in 
make-up. One car may contain ten 
sections and two drawing rooms. 
The car next to it may contain eight 
sections, one drawing room and two 

Again, many trains change in the 
character of their make-up between 
point of origin and destination. For 
example, a train traveling between 
New York and Chicago may pick up 
or drop off Pullman cars at stated 
points along the way. A certain car, 
which, let us say, is to be dropped off 
at Cleveland, is therefore suitable for 
assignment to passengers traveling to 
certain points between New York 
and Cleveland, but It would not be 

suitable for assignment to passengers 
traveling beyond Cleveland. 

All of this means that before the 
train starts its run, railroad reserva- 
tion people have had to assign par- 
ticular space in particular cars to par- 
ticular ticket holders who wish to 
travel to a particular city at a particu- 
lar time of the day. 

The statistics in the box may help 
visualize the size of the problem con- 
fronting the railroads in handling 
such space assignments. 

Keservation Bureau Operations 

Now let's take a look at the inner 
workings of a reservation bureau. 

Each item of space that is available 
for assignment is represented by a 
block on a card 9 inches long and 3^2 
inches wide, and the type of space, 
such as lower, roomette, and so on, is 
designated in the block. Each of 
these cards is called a diagram, and 
one is maintained for each car that 
contains reserved space. Since space 
is sold in advance, a separate dia- 
gram for each date is also necessary. 
Usually all of the diagrams for one 
car for, say, 30 consecutive dates are 
made up in a pack. 

The diagram packs for any one 
train are usually closely associated in 
a diagram rack. As reservations are 
made, suitable notations are entered 



FOR Thirty-Day Period 

AT Four 

Typical Reservation Bureaus 

Location of the 

Number of Units of Space 


er of Incoming 

Reservation Office 

Available for Reservation 

Telephone Calls 

New York 









San Francisco 



1948-49 Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations 


in the corresponding 
blocks by the reservation 
clerks to indicate that 
the space has been sold 
or is being held on reser- 
vation. Each day, dia- 
grams for that date are 
removed from the packs 
and forwarded to the 
train and corresponding 
diagrams representing 
the 30th day hence are 
added to the packs. 

The volume of calls 
received at a reservation 
bureau requires a num- 
ber of reservation clerks. 
Since the clerks must 
have access to the dia- 
grams in order to han- 
dle the calls, all of the 
larger reservation bu- 
reaus have to be set up 
into different units, each 
unit handling calls for 
certain trains only. In 
this way, reservation 
clerks need access to only 
a portion of the total 
number of diagrams in 
the bureau. Because 
each clerk in any one unit 
must have quick access to 
all of the diagrams in 
the unit, the physical design of the 
diagram racks limits the number of 
people who can answer calls in a 
single unit to a maximum of about 12. 

Two types of diagram racks are 
most commonly used. One consists 
of a series of open-ended pigeon holes 
mounted in the center of a long table 
accessible to clerks sitting on both 
sides. The rack itself may slide up 
and down the length of the table so 






D^r a 

13 - 



4" ' 


g ^' " 







r. .-^'--z 

There is a diagram such as these for every car which has 
reserved space, for every day it runs 

that each pigeon hole is within reach 
of any clerk. 

The other type is circular In design 
and consists of a rotating drum around 
which Is a circular table. The drum 
Is made up of tiers, so that it can be 
revolved in sections, and thus every 
clerk sitting at the table has access to 
the diagrams mounted In the drum. 
In addition to the diagrams, the cir- 
cular drums frequently contain a 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


series of peg panels, one panel repre- 
senting each car for which there is 
a corresponding diagram pack and 
each peg representing a unit of space. 
The pegs in the panels permit the 
reservation clerks to tell at a glance, 
without referring to the diagram 
packs, what space is available. As 
space is sold, the corresponding pegs 
are removed from the panel. 

Telephone Requireme?jts 

From that brief description of the 
bureau operation, the telephone re- 
quirements begin to become apparent. 
In the first place, where bureaus 
are subdivided into units, screening 
of incoming calls is necessary to de- 
termine which unit should get the 
call. This means that switchboard 
service is necessary. This, in turn. 

means that lines from the switch- 
board to the answering positions 
manned by reservation clerks are also 
necessary. Further, since incoming 
calls are received from ticket sellers 
as well as from prospective customers, 
lines from the ticket offices to the res- 
ervation bureau are also necessary. 

With respect to the answering 
equipment at the reservation unit, 
order turret equipment of some sort 
is indicated. Many installations em- 
ploy No. 4 order turrets, which are 
small key boxes in which one incom- 
ing line from the switchboard ter- 
minates. In addition, there is an 
overflow line which is common to a 
number of positions. With this equip- 
ment, the reservation clerks who are 
ready to receive calls are indicated to 
the P.B.X. operators by means of 

These racks slide along the table, and the diagrams in the pigeon holes are available to 
clerks on both sides. The flush-type key telephone equipments are No. 4 turrets 

1948-49 Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations 

26 s 

The three iters 0/ this "drum" revolvCy the diagrams are between the panels^ and each peg 
represents a unit of space. No. 100 key telephone equipment is at the left of each clerk 

lamps at the switchboard and incom- 
ing calls are completed only to these 
positions. The presence of overflow 
calls is made known to reservation 
clerks by means of overflow lamps 
at the key boxes and these calls may 
be answered by any clerk in the unit — 
usually the first one to become avail- 

Other installations employ different 
types of order turret equipment, such 
as the No. 2 turret, or 100 or lOi 
key equipment. These types of equip- 
ments permit clerks to answer any of 
several lines (usually all the lines in 
the unit) and are necessary in instal- 
lations where lines from the ticket 
sellers are separate from the lines 
used to complete incoming calls from 
the switchboard. 

Regardless of the type of answer- 
ing equipment employed, one of the 
primary requirements in the way of 
telephone equipment in reservation 
bureaus is the provision of adequate 
monitoring equipment. This appara- 
tus may be designed to permit super- 
visors to know which reservation 
clerks are busy and which are ready 
to receive calls; to know how many 
calls are waiting at the P.B.X. and 
for what units they are waiting; to 
observe the handling of calls; and to 
be able to assist reservation clerks in 
handling certain calls. Proper cover- 
age of answering positions within the 
bureau as well as effective handling 
of calls are two essentials to the suc- 
cessful operation of a reservation bu- 
reau, and adequate monitoring equip- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Pit I if JWli i!ff TITTi it'P 

^"*^.|TURRET lines! ^-"^ 


Too few people within 
the bureau to han- 
dle calls even were 
the telephone facili- 
ties increased. 

Enough people within 
the bureau but not 
enough people at 
certain units to han- 
dle the traffic. 

Too many inexperi- 
enced people in the 

Is the answer to these 
situations more tele- 
phone equipment? 

Many railroad men 
say, "No. We haven't 
the people to answer the 
lines we have now, so 
why put in more?" 

Is the answer more 

Many railroad men 
say, "Yes, of course. 
But there we're on the horns of a 
dilemma. On the one hand, we're 
selling all the space we have now 
and more employees would only 
increase our operating costs; they 
couldn't possible increase our operat- 
ing revenues. Yet, on the other hand, 
we agree that poor service to the 
customer is poor business for the rail- 

To arrive at a workable answer to 

these problems, it has been necessary 

for telephone people and railroad 

people to join in exhaustive studies, 

to determine the factors which give 

tending between the switchboard rise to the problems and what might 

and the bureau to handle. be done to remedy the situation. 

Too few positions at each reserva- They have arrived at some answers. 

tion unit to handle the calls di- Briefly, the situation boils down to 

rected to it. a consideration of three main topics: 

One arrangement of telephone equipment gives both cus- 
tomers and ticket sellers access to the reservation clerks 
over the same turret lines 

ment helps bring about these two 

Operational Problems 

What are some of the problems 
which sometimes arise in the opera- 
tion of reservation bureaus? 

The most common seem to be 
these : 

Too many calls from the public at 
certain times for the P.B.X. 
trunk groups to handle. 

Too many calls from ticket sellers 
and the public for the lines ex 

1948-49 Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservation:^ 


Traffic. People. Tele- 
phone Equipment. 

With respect to the 
traffic, it has been deter- 
mined that the railroads 
themselves can do many 
things to reduce the 
loads handled by reser- 
vation bureaus. For ex- 
ample, some roads fol- 
low a plan which makes 
it unnecessary for ticket 
sellers to call the bureau 
to confirm space assign- 
ments when customers 
pick up tickets after hav- 
ing made a reservation 
by telephone. This plan 
naturally reduces the 
number of calls directed 
to the bureau. Other 
railroads have been re- 
designing diagram racks, 
and by shifting the dia- 
grams held in certain 
units have decreased the 
answering time and the holding time 
on calls to the bureau. 

With respect to people, the burden 
of improvement to be made is again 
on the railroad. Just as it takes coal 
to fire a steam engine, fuel oil to run 
a diesel, it takes adequate personnel to 
run a reservation bureau. An adequate 
number of people must be provided 
to insure good service. However, 
much can be done to improve the ef- 
fectiveness of the people on the job 
through proper training programs. 
In addition, effective force program- 
ming — i.e., having the right number 
of positions occupied at the right time 
— will result in better service without 
necessarily involving force increases. 
Another important item with respect 
to people concerns supervision. It 

jiff I if f-tfiiri ifitif ii m\ 

N ^^^ I ITURRET lines! i ^^^^ / 



A different arrangement provides separate turret lines 
for customers and ticket sellers to reach the reservation 


is generally agreed that supervision 
should be adequate to render assist- 
ance where needed and direct the as- 
signment of clerks to specific positions. 

The task of determining what tele- 
phone equipment and how much of it 
is required to handle the traffic is 
one which the telephone companies 
have long been willing to assume. 
With the assistance of Traffic Depart- 
ment people, Bell System sales and 
servicing representatives have for 
years been designing "tailor-made" 
telephone systems to handle individ- 
ual reservations jobs most effectively. 

While it is fundamentally the rail- 
roads' responsibility to determine 
what they want communications serv- 
ice to do for them, nevertheless, tele- 
phone company representatives fre- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


quently are able to assist in working 
out operations and routines which re- 
sult in better service to the prospec- 
tive traveler when he calls the res- 
ervation bureau. Traffic Department 
people have done much in working 
out force requirements with the rail- 
roads, and much has been done to de- 
velop improved training methods and 
procedures. Complete surveys and 
studies of particular telephone re- 
quirements are made from time to 
time for the railroads operating res- 
ervation bureaus in practically all of 
of the larger cities throughout the 

Constructive Efforts 

Response to the activities of tele- 
phone company people on the part of 
the railroads has been, in many cases, 
highly appreciative. 

Two examples may be cited here : 
In Cleveland, the performance at 
a particular reservation bureau was 
not satisfactory. Reservation clerks 
were slow in answering incoming calls, 
and, when calls were answered, long 
delays were encountered in complet- 
ing transactions. In technical terms 
this bureau was suffering from '*slow 
answers" and long "holding time." 
A survey pointed out the need for 
( I ) a revised system of filing dia- 
grams, (2) redesign of diagram racks 
and seating arrangements, (3) a tele- 
phone system which would direct in- 
dividual calls to available clerks, and 
(4) a training program for reserva- 
tion clerks. All of the recommended 
changes were made, and as a result 
answering time dropped from an av- 
erage of 42 seconds to 4 seconds and 
the holding time from 280 seconds 
to 120 seconds. 

In Los Angeles, where another bu- 
reau was rendering an unsatisfactory 
grade of service, a survey revealed 
among many things that ( i ) the num- 
ber of reservation clerks on duty was 
too low, and as a consequence unan- 
swered calls were backing up at the 
switchboard, (2) supervision was in- 
adequate, (3) routines for handling 
waiting lists and reservations on popu- 
lar trains were causing serious bottle- 
necks, (4) the high inexperience fac- 
tor among reservation clerks called 
for more extensive training, and (5) 
a number of improvements could be 
made in office layout and practices. 

Corrective steps included the fol- 
lowing: ( I ) the number of employees 
in the bureau was increased to provide 
full coverage of all positions between 
8:30 A.M. and 5:30 P.M., (2) the 
number of supervisors was doubled, 

(3) a complete training course was 
prepared and given to all employees, 

(4) monitoring equipment was in- 
stalled and hourly schedules of obser- 
vation were established, and (5) spe- 
cial diagram racks were constructed 
and the telephone equipment was 
changed to meet the new operating 

One result of these steps was a re- 
duction in answering time on incom- 
ing calls from an average of 45 sec- 
onds to 18 seconds. In a letter to the 
telephone company, the general pas- 
senger agent of the railroad stated: 
"This tremendous improvement has 
only been accomplished through the 
valuable assistance rendered by pro- 
fessional advice received through the 
presence of your representatives who 
have been so generous with their time 
and effort." 

This job of studying telephone re- 
quirements and designing telephone 
facilities is not completed. Perhaps 

I94^~49 Telephone Facilities for Railroad Reservations 


it never will be. On all sides is evi- 
dence of change. The railroads are 
streamlining; service to the passenger 
is the key-note. Practices and rail- 
road equipment which were good yes- 
terday are not satisfactory today. In 
like manner, telephone equipment ar- 

rangements which were good yester- 
day may not suffice today. It is a dis- 
tinct challenge to Bell System people 
to keep abreast of these changing re- 
quirements, and to make telephone 
service for handling the reservations 
job most effective and most pleasing. 

Despite popular interest in the failure of the polls to predict the elec- 
tion, our interviewers report that public reaction to our questionnaire 
seems to be as cooperative and friendly as ever. Apparently our cus- 
tomers do not bracket the election polls and telephone company' surveys 
together. Neither do we. 

Our surveys do not attempt to forecast future action as did the elec- 
tion polls. Ours are designed to give us more accurate knowledge of 
what people are currently thinking about telephone matters. This 
knowledge makes for sounder business judgment in cases where there is 
uncertainty or difference of opinion about the attitude or the wishes of 
the telephone users as to a specific policy, practice, or service. 

One of the errors of the election polls seems to have been that their 
measurement stopped too soon and failed to note a changing trend. 
Telephone surveys are useful in establishing continuing trends by which 
we may see whether the opinion of the public is changing for better or 
for worse on the broad issues that affect our public relations. 

From a letter transmitting results of a recent survey on "Trends of 
Customer Opinion" to the Associated Companies of the Bell System. 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the 
Bell Telephone Quarterly 

Items from Volume III, Number 1, January 1924 

Bell System Ideals 
Are High 

Certainly the Bell System Is big; but 
mere bigness is not necessarily great or 
wholesome; and neither is it, as some peo- 
ple seem to imagine, necessarily baneful or 
menacing. Everything depends on its na- 
ture, its ideals and purposes, in short, on 
its spiritual quality. How does the Bell 
System stand spiritually? Does it meet 
the tests? 

Men whom I greatly respect, outsiders 
who have no reason to be biased and of 
whose competence and independence I have 
knowledge, have written to me and said to 
me that the Bell System in their judgment 
is the cleanest and best managed big busi- 
ness in the world. I have had some oppor- 
tunity to form a judgment in the matter. 
And I am prepared to say that I know of 
no other which can be rated above it. I 
know of no other enterprise, private or pub- 
lic, which has higher purposes or sounder 
ideals of service. The Bell System has 
seemed to me to be honest in its purposes 
and endeavors and clean in its practices. 
It is aboveboard and frank. It puts its 
cards on the table. It welcomes govern- 
ment regulation and cooperates cordially 
with government agencies. It believes in 
the integrity of American institutions and 
in the honesty of purpose of American offi- 
cial servants. It cooperates with them to 
serve the public. 

It seeks to be fair to its owners, its em- 
ployees, and its consumers. It has as its 
primary or guiding principles to keep its 
business on a sound and conservative basis, 
to give to its owners a fair return on their 
investment, to render to its consumers the 

best possible service at the lowest cost ; and 
it succeeds in giving them a service which 
is worth to them very much more than it 
costs them. 

The Bell service is public minded. It is 
democratic in its responsiveness to public 
sentiment and needs. It evidences in as 
high degree as any other agency I have 
known a concern for the public welfare. 
Its personnel is animated by a spirit of 

From "The Achievement of Telephone 
Pioneers" by former Vice President 
David F. Houston. 

The American Telephone 
Historical Collection 

The American Telephone and Telegraph 
Company has started at its headquarters 
building, 195 Broadway, New York, an 
historical collection of pictures and papers 
of all kinds, letters, note-books, documents, 
to perpetuate the personalities and the rec- 
ords of the men who have done vital work 
in the development of the Telephone. It 
has officially been given the name of the 
American Telephone Historical Collection. 
It is as the other half of the Bell System 
Museum of instruments and apparatus at 
the Western Electric building. The two 
are intended to supplement each other, the 
Museum emphasizing the technical side, 
the consecutive development of the tele- 
phone equipment; and this new Collection 
emphasizing the human side, the collabor- 
ating sequence of men in the telephone or- 

From an article by the late William 
Chauncy Langdon, the first curator. 


Bell System Coaxial and Radio Relay Networks Which Carry 
Television Programs 

Bell System s Television Networks Connected 

The Bell System's east coast and mid- 
western inter-city networks for television 
transmission were linked on January 1 1 , 
bringing network television to the greatest 
potential audience in television history: — a 
fourth of the nation's population, living in 
and about 14 major American cities. 

The link connecting the Eastern and 
Midwestern networks is the new Phila- 
delphia-Pittsburgh-Cleveland coaxial ca- 
ble, which was placed in operation last 
fall for long distance telephone service. 
The combined network includes television 
stations in Boston, New York, Philadel- 
phia, Baltimore. Washington, Richmond, 
Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, 
Toledo, Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. 

The Bell System's combined television 
network extends over 1,740 route miles of 
coaxial cable and 370 route miles of radio 
relay, and provides about 5,000 miles of 
television channels. The network grew 
from a 95-mile coaxial cable installed in 
1936 between New York and Philadel- 
phia. After the war, which interrupted 
television development, regular network 
television transmission between Washing- 

ton and New York was inaugurated on 
February 12, 1946, over Bell System fa- 
cilities for use by broadcasters without 
charge. Baltimore was added to this net- 
work in October 1946. 

Using radio relay. Bell System engineers 
extended the New York- Washington net- 
work northward to Boston in November 
1947. Richmond was connected to the 
network by a coaxial cable channel from 
Washington a few months later. On May 
I, 1948, free experimental service was dis- 
continued and the Bell System television 
network service was placed on a commer- 
cial basis. On September 20 last year, the 
Bell System brought inter-city television 
service to a new region when it intercon- 
nected seven major Midwestern cities. 

The present combined network requires 
large amounts of complex equipment. 
Along the routes, for example, are 540 
amplifiers, which maintain the energy of 
the television signal as it travels from city 
to city. Some 250 additional amplifying 
devices in the television terminals in tele- 
phone buildings in each city on the net- 
work are used to put the broadcasters' pro- 
grams on the channels. 



Bell Telephone Magazine 

Who's Who & What's What 

{Continued from page 2oy) 

good idea of what it's all about. He quali- 
fies as expert, as a matter of fact, in such 
abstruse matters as dial switching systems, 
and for the last decade and more he has 
directed most of his efforts toward traffic 
requirements for toll crossbar and toll 
step-by-step switching systems and the de- 
velopment of toll dialing methods. Start- 
ing with the Missouri-Kansas Telephone 
Company as a student in 191 2, he was a 
toll traffic supervisor with the South- 
western Bell Telephone Company at St. 
Louis when, in 1927, he transferred to the 
Traffic division of the A. T. and T. Com- 
pany's Department of Operation and En- 
gineering, working on toll results. Two 
years later he joined the group concerned 
with peg counts and coefficients, and since 
1938 he has been with the traffic operating 
arrangements group. 

When this Magazine wanted an au- 
thentic description of the job of the Right- 
of-Way Man, it turned to a member of 
the Long Lines Department whose nearly 
23 years of right-of-way experience include 
assignments in Pennsylvania, the middle 
West, the Rocky Mountain states, and 
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. After 
experience with the Bell Telephone Com- 
pany of Pennsylvania and the Southern 
Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company, 
Harry H. Hoopes joined the Long Lines 
organization in 1926, and was made a 
rights-of-way supervisor in 1929. His base 

is the division headquarters in Philadel- 
phia, but proofs of his article were mailed 
to him at Uniontown, Pa., and were re- 
turned from Carlisle. 

A member of the Public Relations Divi- 
sion of the Western Electric Company since 
1939, Alvin von Auw took time out to 
serve as Air Combat Intelligence officer on 
active duty in the Pacific Theater in World 
War n, from which he was released as 
Lieutenant, USNR, He resumed his for- 
mer post as information supervisor, and has 
only recently been appointed editor of 
"WE," a new quarterly magazine for all 
W. E. employees. He has contributed 
several articles to this Magazine on vari- 
ous company operations, the most recent of 
which was "Distribution by Western Elec- 
tric," in the issue for Autumn 1947. 

From 1929, when Justin E. Hoy joined 
the Southwestern Bell Telephone Com- 
pany, to 1946, when he became a member 
of the A. T. and T. Company's O. & E. 
Department, he had been successively a 
salesman of directory advertising; a sales- 
man of exchange, toll, and PBX services; 
and sales supervisor and sales training su- 
pervisor. At the time he left Kansas City 
for New York, he was supervising the 
Southwestern company's servicing work 
with large business firms in the K. C. di- 
vision ; and he has since been occupied in 
the sales and servicing section of the Com- 
mercial division of A. T. & T. He con- 
tributed "Helping Customers Improve 
Telephone Usage Habits" to the issue of 
this Magazine for Summer 1947. 

Index to the 

Bell Telephone 

Volume XXVIII, 1949 

Information Department 


New York 7, N. Y. 





SPRING, 1949 

Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs, by Leroy A. Wilson . . 5 
Television Strides Ahead in Seven-League Boots, by Harry H. 

Carter 9 

Looking A-head with the Bell System 20 

Merr}' Christmas in the Toll Offices, by Cyril K. Collins 27 

You Can Tell by the Teller, by Arthur F. Leet 39 

Purchasing by the Western Electric Company, by George deMare . . 45 

Index Now Available 54 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 55 

San Francisco's Chinatown "Goes Dial," by Wheeler F. Schall ... 57 
The Winter's Toll \\'as Heavy from Texas to the Dakotas, by 

Judson S. Bradley 66 

SUMMER, 1949 

Where Do We Go from Here ? by Harry Disston 83 

The Bell Statue at Brantford 96 

Helen Keller \'isits the Bell Lalxjratories 97 

The Role of Communications in Red Cross Operations, by Wade 

Jones 99 

Progress of the Rural Service Program 108 

Robert Devonshire's L^tterbook, by Ralph E. Mooney 110 

Desert Isle Books 122 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 124 

Bell Laboratories and Western Electric to Operate Sandia Labora- 
tory for AEC 125 

AUTUMN, 1949 

A Look Around — And Ahead, by Leroy A. Wilson 133 

Long Distance Finds the Way, by William H. Nunn 137 

Pension Minimums Are Raised 148 



War-Time Taxes on Conimiinication Services in 1949 149 

Giving New Life to Old Equipment, by Philip H. Miele 154 

Their Politeness Goes Deep 164 

Private Line Services for the Aviation Industry, by Henry V. 

Roumjort 165 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 175 

WINTER, 1949-1950 

Bell System Participation in the Work of the ASA, by Harold S. 

Osborne 181 

Carrier Is King, by Charles M. Mapcs 191 

Mr. Gififord Retires 204 

This Country Leads the World in Telephones, by Eli::abeth Wren- 
shall 206 

Service Aids for Home Owners, Architects, and IrJuilders, by 

Adolph F. Michel and T. Hunt Clark 217 

Some Early Long Distance Lines in the Ear West, by Walter 

Black jord, Sr., and Joy F. Huff on 227 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly 238 





Issue Page 

"Advance Arrangements for Telephone Convenience" by Adolph 

F. Michel and T. Hunt Clark— 7 photos Wi 217 

American National Red Cross: 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

American Standards Association: 

"Bell System Participation in the Work of the ASA" by 

Harold S. Osborne — 4 photos Wi 181 

A. T. & T.— Construction: 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 

Annual Meetings: 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 

Annual Report, 1948: 

"Bell System Taxes, 1948" Sp 38 

"Telephone Service" . Sp 19 

Awards : 

"Bell System Film Receives Award" Au 147 


Bell, Alexander Graham: 

"The Bell Room at Salem" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Su 124 

"The Bell Statue at Brantford" — 2 photos Su 96 

"Helen Keller Visits the Bell Laboratories" Su 97 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Mooney — 

10 photos Su 110 

"Bell Laboratories and Western Electric to Operate Sandia 

Laboratory for AEC" Su 125 

"The Bell Room at Salem" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Su 124 

"The Bell Statue at Brantford" — 2 photos Su 96 

"Bell System Film Receives Award" Au 147 

"Bell System Participation in the Work of the ASA" by Harold 

S. Osborne— 4 photos Wi 181 

"Bell System Taxes, 1948" Sp 38 



Issue Page 
Bell Telephone Laboratories: 

"Bell Laboratories and Western Electric to Operate Sandia 

Laboratory for AEC" Su 125 

"Helen Keller Visits the Bell Laboratories" Su 97 

"The 'Transistor' " Wi 240 


Blackford, Walter, Sr. — portrait Wi 239 

Bradley, Judson S. — portrait Sp 3 

Carter, Harry H. — portrait Sp 3 

Clark, T. Hunt— portrait Wi 179 

Collins, Cyril K. — portrait Sp 3 

deMare, George — portrait Sp 3 

Disston, Harry — portrait Su 126 

Gifford, Walter S.— portrait Wi 204 

Hutton, Joy F.— portrait Wi 239 

Jones, Wade — portrait Su 126 

Leet, Arthur F. — portrait Sp 2 

Mapes, Charles M. — portrait Wi 178 

Michel, Adolph F.— portrait Wi 179 

Miele, Philip H. — portrait Au 131 

Mooney, Ralph E. — portrait Su 127 

Nunn, William H. — portrait Au 130 

Osborne, Harold S. — portrait Wi 178 

Roumfort, Henry V. — portrait Au 131 

Schall, Wheeler F. — portrait Sp 3 

Wilson, Leroy A. — portrait Sp 2 

Wilson, Leroy A. — portrait Au 130 

Wrenshall, Elizabeth — portrait Wi 179 

Blackford, Walter, Sr.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 239 

Blackford, Walter, Sr., and Joy F. Hutton: 

"Some Early Long Distance Lines in the Far West" — 

7 photos, 1 map Wi 227 

Bradley, George L.: 

Furnished telephone capital Su 118 

Bradley, Judson S.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 3 

"The Winter's Toll Was Heavy From Texas to the Da- 

kotas" — 16 photos Sp 66 

Business Offices: 

"You Can Tell by the Teller" by Arthur F. Leet — 4 photos . .Sp 39 

Campbell, George A.: 

Invented Electric Wave Filter — 1 photo Wi 195 

"Carrier Is King" by Charles M. Mapes— 4 photos, 5 charts . . . . Wi 191 
Carter, Harry H.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 3 

"Television Strides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" — 8 

photos Sp 9 



Issue Page 
Cartoons : 

"Fantastic or not. Gentlemen, we have just been chosen by 

the Book-of-the-Month Club" Su 122 


The frequency bands used in the Bell System's wire com- 
munication system Wi 198 

Intercity circuit miles in Bell Sj'stem Wi 203 

Radio frequency bands used by the Bell System Wi 199 

Relative sizes of communication carrier "packages" Wi 193 

Size of 12-channel Nl terminal contrasted with that of 

12-channeI K terminal Wi 201 

Cheever, Charles A Su 120 

Civil Aeronautics Administration: 

"Private Line Services for The Aviation Industry" by 

Henry V. Roumfort — 8 photos Au 165 

Clark, T. Hunt: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 179 

Clark, T. Hunt and Adolph F. Michel: 

"Advance Arrangements for Telephone Convenience" — 7 

photos Wi 217 

"Service Aids for Home Owners, Architects, and Builders" 

by Adolph F. Michel and T. Hunt Clark— 7 photos Wi 217 

Collins, Cyril K.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 3 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" — 8 photos Sp 27 

Commercial Department: 

"Where Do We Go From Here?" bj' Harry Disston — 13 

photos Su 83 

Cornish, T. E Su 120 

Craig, Cleo F.: 

"Progress of the Rural Service Program" Su 108 


dcForest, Lee: 

Invented Audion — 2 photos Wi 194 

deMare, George: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 3 

"Purchasing bj' the Western Electric Company" — 6 photos . .Sp 45 

"Desert Isle Books" Su 122 

Devonshire, Robert: 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Mooney 

—10 photos Su 110 

Dial Telephone System: 

"Long Distance Finds the Way" by William H. Nunn — 

6 photos Au 137 

"Looking Ahead with the Bell System" Sp 20 

"San Francisco's Chinatown 'Goes Dial' " by Wheeler F. 

Schall— 8 photos Sp 57 



Issue Page 
Directories : 

Cartoon — "Fantastic or not, Gentlemen, we have just been 

chosen by the Book-of-the-Month Club" Su 122 

"Desert Isle Books" Su 122 

Disasters : 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

"The Winter's Toll Was Heavy from Texas to the Da- 

kotas" by Judson S. Bradley — 16 photos Sp 66 

Disston, Harry: 

Biographical sketch — portrait . Su 126 

"Where Do We Go From Here?" — L3 photos Su 83 

Distributing Houses: 

"Giving New Life to Old Equipment" by Philip H. Miele 

— 1 map, 7 photos Au 154 


Economics : 

"A Look Around — And Ahead" by Leroy A. Wilson Au 133 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 5 

"This Country Leads the World in Telephones" by Eliza- 
beth Wrenshall— 3 photos Wi 206 

Engineering : 

"Carrier Is King" by Charles M. Mapes — 4 photos, 5 charts. .Wi 191 

"Private Line Services for The Aviation Industry" by 

Henry V. Roumfort — 8 photos Au 165 

"Advance Arrangements for Telephone Convenience" by 

Adolph F. Michel and T. Hunt Clark— 7 photos Wi 217 

"Television Strides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" by 

Harry H. Carter — 8 photos Sp 9 

"Where Do We Go From Here?" by Harry Disston — 13 

photos Su 83 

Equipment : 

"Giving New Life to Old Equipment" by Philip H. Miele — 

1 map, 7 photos Au 154 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cyril K. Collins 

— 8 photos Sp 27 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 

"Television Strides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" by 

Harry H. Carter — 8 photos Sp 9 

"You Can Tell by the Teller" by Arthur F. Leet — 4 photos . .Sp 39 

Exhibits : 

"Looking Ahead with The Bell System" — 12 photos Sp 20 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Mooney — 

10 photos Su 110 



Issue Page 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 

Gifford, Walter S.: 

"Mr. Gifford Retires"—! photo Wi 204 

"Giving New Life to Old Equipment" by Philip H. Miele — 1 

map. 7 photos An 154 

Gower, Frederick A Su 120 

Grosvenor, Mrs. Gilbert: 

"The Bell Statue at Brantford"— 2 photos Su 96 


Haigh, J. Lloyd Su 120 

"Helen Keller Visits the Bell Laboratories" Su 97 

History : 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Moonej- — 

10 photos Su 110 

"San Francisco's Chinatown 'Goes Dial' " by Wheeler F. 

Schall — 8 photos Sp 57 

"Some Early Long Distance Lines in the Far West" by 
Walter Blackford. Sr.. and Joy F. Hutton — 7 photos, 

1 map Wi 227 

"Television Strides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" by 

Harrj- H. Carter — 8 photos Sp 9 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

April 1924" .Sp 55 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly. 

July 1924" Su 124 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterh-, 

October 1924" Au 175 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterh*. 

January 1925" .Wi 238 

Hubbard, Gardiner G.: 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Mooney — 

10 photos Su 110 

Human Relationships: 

"A Look Around — And Ahead" by Leroy A. Wilson Au 133 

Hutton, Joy F.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 239 

Hutton, Joy F. and Walter Blackford, Sr.: 

"Some Early Long Distance Lines in the Far West" — 7 

photos, 1 map Wi 227 


"An Instrumentality of Service" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Wi 238 



Issue Page 
Jones, Wade: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 126 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" — 

6 photos Su 99 

Keller, Helen: 

"Helen Keller Visits the Bell Laboratories" Su 97 


Leased Wires: 

"Private Line Services for The Aviation Industry" by Henry 

V. Roumfort — 8 photos Au 165 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

Leet, Arthur F.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 2 

"You Can Tell by the Teller" — 4 photos Sp v39 

Long Distance: 

"Carrier Is King" by Charles M. Mapes — 4 photos, 5 charts. .Wi 191 

"Long Distance Finds the Way" by William H. Nunn — 

6 photos Au 137 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cyril K. Collins 

— 8 photos Sp 27 

"Private Line Services for The Aviation Industry" by 

Henry V. Roumfort — 8 photos Au 165 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

"Some Early Long Distance Lines in the Far West" by 

Walter Blackford, Sr., and Joy F. Hutton — 7 photos, 

1 map Wi 227 

"A Look Around — And Ahead" by Leroy A. Wilson Au L33 

"Looking Ahead with The Bell System"— 12 photos Sp 20 


Mapes, Charles M.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 178 

"Carrier Is King"— 4 photos, 5 charts Wi 191 


Location of Western Electric Distributing Houses Au 155 

The Mother Lode Country Wi 228 

"The Meaning of Research to the Telephone Investor" (In 

"25 Yrs. Ago") Sp 55 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cyril K. Collins— 

8 photos Sp 27 

Michel, Adolph F.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 179 



Issue Page 
Michel, Adolph F. and T. Hunt Clark: 

"Advance Arrangements for Telephone Convenience" — 7 

photos \Vi 217 

"Service Aids for Home Owners, Architects, and Builders" 

—7 photos Wi 217 

Miele, Philip H.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 131 

"Giving Xew Life to Old Equipment" — 1 map, 7 photos . .. .Au 154 

"Mr. Gifford Retires"—! photo Wi 204 

Mooney, Ralph E.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Su 127 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" — 10 photos Su 110 

Motion Pictures: 

"Bell S3stem Film Receives Award" Au 147 

"You Can Tell b}- the Teller" by Arthur F. Leet — i photos . . Sp 39 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 


Nason, Rev. Elias Su 120 

New York Times: 

"Desert Isle Books" Su 122 

Nunn, William H.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 130 

"Long Distance Finds the Waj" — 6 photos Au 137 


Osborne, Harold S.: 

"Bell System Participation in The Work of the ASA" — 

4 photos ; Wi 181 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 178 

Paintings : 

"Rockwell Lineman Picture Given to John J. Toolan" — 

photo Au 153 

"Pan-American Radio Convention" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 176 

"Pension Minimums Are Raised" Au 148 

Personnel — Linemen : 

"Rockwell Lineman Picture Given to John J. Toolan" — 

photo Au 153 

Personnel — Operators : 

"Long Distance Finds the Waj" bj' William H. Nunn — 

6 photos Au 137 

"Merrj- Christmas in the Toll Offices" bj' Cyril K. Collins 

— 8 photos Sp 27 

"San Francisco's Chinatown 'Goes Dial' " by Wheeler F. 

Schall — 8 photos Sp 57 

"Their Politeness Goes Deep" Au 164 

"You Can Try, Can't You?" Au 174 



Issue Page 
Personnel — Tellers : 

"Vou Can Tell by the Teller" b\' Arthur F. Leet — 4 photos. .Sp 39 

Planned Facilities: 

"Advance Arrangements for Telephone Convenience" by 

Adolph F. Michel and T. Hunt Clark— 7 photos Wi 217 

"Service Aids for Home Owners, Architects, and Builders" 

—7 photos Wi 217 


"Bell System Participation in the Work of the ASA" by 

Harold S. Osborne — 4 photos Wi 181 

Plant— Central Office: 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cyril K. Collins 

— 8 photos Sp 27 

Plant — Outside: 

"Carrier Is King" by Charles M. Mapes — 4 photos, 5 charts. . Wi 191 

Plant — Outside — Cables : 

"Southern Transcontinental Line" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Sp 55 

"Television Strides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" by 

Harry H. Carter — 8 photos Sp 9 

Policies : 

"A Look Around — And Ahead" by Leroj^ A. Wilson Au 133 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 

Preece, Sir William Henry Su • 120 

"Private Line Services for the Aviation Industry" by Henry 

V. Roumfort — 8 photos Au 165 

"Progress of the Rural Service Program" by Cleo F. Craig Su 108 

Public Relations: 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cyril K. Collins 

—8 photos Sp 27 

"You Can Tell by the Teller" by Arthur F. Leet— 4 photos. .Sp 39 

Public Telephones: 

"We Call Them Outdoor Booths" Wi 237 

"Purchasing by the Western Electric Company" by George 

deMare — 6 photos Sp 45 



"Carrier Is King" by Charles M. Mapes — 4 photos, 5 charts. .Wi 191 

Radio — Amateurs : 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

Radio — Mobile : 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

Radio Relay: 

"Television Strides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" bj' 

Harry H. Carter — 8 photos Sp 9 



Issue Page 
Rates — Telephone : 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 

Repair Shops: 

"Giving Xew Life to Old Equipment" by Philip H. Miele 

— 1 map, 7 photos Au 154 


"The Meaning of Research to the Telephone Investor" (In 

"25 Yrs. Ago") Sp 55 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Mooney — 

10 photos Su 110 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" by 

Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

Roosevelt, Hilborne L Su 119 

Roumfort, Henry V.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 131 

"Private Line Services for the Aviation Industrj" — 8 

photos Au 165 

"Royalty Visits Walker Street" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Au 175 

Rural Telephone Service: 

"Progress of the Rural Service Program" b}' Cleo F. Craig. .Su 108 

Sanders, Thomas: 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Mooney — 

10 photos Su 110 

"San Francisco's Chinatown 'Goes Dial' " by Wheeler F. Schall 

— 8 photos Sp 57 

Schall, Wheeler F.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait : Sp 3 

"San Francisco's Chinatown "Goes Dial'" — 8 photos Sp 57 

"Service Aids for Home Owners, Architects, and Builders" by 

Adolph F. :Michel and T. Hunt Clark— 7 photos Wi 217 

"Some Early Long Distance Lines in the Far West" by Walter 

Blackford, Sr., and Joy F. Hutton — 7 photos, 1 map . . . . Wi 227 

"Southern Transcontinental Line" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Sp 55 


"The Winter's Toll Was Heavy From Texas to the Da- 

kotas" by Judson S. Bradley — 16 photos Sp 66 


"Bell System Ta.xes, 1948" Sp 38 

"War-Tinie Taxes on Communication Services In 1949" ...Au 149 

Telephone Development: 

' "Where Do We Go From Here?" by Harry Disston — 13 

photos Su 83 

Telephone Pioneers of America: 

"The Bell Statue at Brantford" — 2 photos Su 96 



Issue Page 
Telephone Service: 

"Advance Arrangements for Telephone Convenience" by 

Adolph F. Michel and T. Hunt Clark— 7 photos Wi 217 

"Bell System Participation in the Work of the ASA" by 

Harold S. Osborne — 4 photos Wi 181 

"Carrier Is King" by Charles M. Mapes — 4 photos, 5 charts. .Wi 191 

"The Future Holds Great Promise" Sp 26 

"Giving New Life to Old Equipment" by Philip H. Miele 

— 1 niap, 7 photos Au 154 

"An Instrumentality of Service" (In "25 Yrs. Ago") Wi 238 

"Long Distance Finds the Way" by William H. Nunn — 

6 photos Au 137 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cyril K. Collins 

— 8 photos Sp 27 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" by Leroy A. 

Wilson — 1 photo Sp 7 

"Private Line Services for the Aviation Industry" by Henry 

V. Roumfort — 8 photos Au 165 

"Progress of the Rural Service Program" by Cleo F. Craig. .Su 108 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

"San Francisco's Chinatown 'Goes Dial' " by Wheeler F. 

Schall — 8 photos Sp 57 

"Some Early Long Distance Lines in the Far West" by 

Walter Blackford, Sr., and Joy F. Hutton — 7 photos, 

1 map Wi 227 

"Telephone Service" Sp 19 

"Their Politeness Goes Deep" Au 164 

"This Country Leads the World in Telephones" by Eliza- 
beth Wrenshall — 3 photos, 3 charts Wi 206 

"Where Do We Go From Here?" by Harry Disston — 

13 photos Su 83 

"You Can Tell by the Teller" by Arthur F. Leet — 4 photos. .Sp 39 

Telephone Service — Foreign: 

"We Call Them Outdoor Bootlis" Wi 237 

"The Telephone's Part in Defense Test Day" (In "25 Yrs. 

Ago") Au 175 

Telephones — Statistics : 

"Progress of the Rural Service Program" by Cleo F. Craig. .Su 108 
"This Country Leads the World in Telephones" by Eliza- 
beth Wrenshall— 3 photos Wi 206 

"U. S. Now Has 40,000,000 Telephones" Au 136 

"Where Do We Go From Here?" by Harry Disston — 

13 photos Su 83 

Telephotography : 

"Transmission of Pictures Over Telephone Wires" (In 

"25 Yrs. Ago") Su 124 



Issue Page 
Teletypewriters : 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cyril K. Collins 

— 8 photos Sp 27 

"Private Line Services for the Aviation Industry" by Henry 

V. Rounifort — 8 photos Au 165 

"The Role of Communications In Red Cross Operations" 

by Wade Jones — 6 photos Su 99 

"Television St-ides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" by Harry 

H. Carter — 8 photos Sp 9 

"Their Politeness Goes Deep" Au 164 

"This Country Leads the World in Telephones" by Elizabeth 

Wrenshall— 3 photos Wi 206 

Training : 

"Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices" by Cj'ril K. Collins 

— 8 photos Sp 27 

"You Can Tell by the Teller" by Arthur F. Leet — 4 photos. .Sp 39 

"The 'Transistor' " Wi 240 

"Transmission of Pictures Over Telephone Wires" (In "25 Yrs. 

Ago") Su 124 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

April 1924" Sp 55 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

July 1924" Su 124 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

October 1924" Au 175 

"Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 

January 1925" Wi 238 


U. S. Atomic Energy Commission: 

"Bell Laboratories and Western Electric To Operate Sandia 

Laboratory for AEC" Su 125 

"U. S. Now Has 40,000,000 Telephones" Au 136 


"War-Time Taxes on Communication Services in 1949" Au 149 

Watson, Thomas A.: 

"Robert Devonshire's Letterbook" by Ralph E. Mooney — 

10 photos Su 110 

"We Call Them Outdoor Booths" Wi 237 

Western Electric Company: 

"Bell Laboratories and Western Electric to Operate Sandia 

Laboratory for AEC" Su 125 

"Giving New Life to Old Equipment" by Philip H. Miele 

— 1 map, 7 photos Au 154 

"Purchasing by the Western Electric Company" by George 

deMare — 6 photos Sp 45 

"The Winter's Toll Was Heavy From Texas to the Da- 

kotas" by Judson S. Bradley — 16 photos Sp 66 



Issue Page 
"Where Do We Go From Here?" by Harry Disston — 13 

photos Sp 83 

Wilson, Leroy A.: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Sp 2 

Biographical sketch — portrait Au 130 

"A Look Around — And Ahead" Au 133 

"Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs" — 1 photo Sp 7 

"Television Strides Ahead In Seven-League Boots" by 

Harry H. Carter — 1 photo Sp 9 

"The Winter's Toll Was Heavy From Texas to the Dakotas" 

by Judson S. Bradley — 16 photos Sp 66 

Wrenshall, Elizabeth: 

Biographical sketch — portrait Wi 179 

"This Country Leads the World in Telephones" — 3 photos, 

3 charts Wi 206 

"You Can Tell by the Teller" by Arthur F. Leet— 4 photos Sp 39 


;r//^& U^.U^ V XXX' «^ X W t^/ft'UL^/ K^lt-K/^ 

't"^"^S ^VH-y 








Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs • Leroy A. Wilson 

Television Strides Ahead in Seven-League Boots 
Harry H. Carter 

Looking Ahead with the Bell System 

Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices • Cyril K. Collins 

You Can Tell by the Teller • Arthur F. Leet 

Purchasing by the Western Electric Company • George deMare 

San Francisco's Chinatown "Goes Dial" • Wheeler F. Schall 

The Winter's Toll Was Heavy from Texas to the Dakotas 
JuDSON S. Bradley 


mcan'Telephmc Sr-O'ekm-aph Ccrmpanv 'VewYoik. 

Bell Tdd^ov[c}4am^ 

spring 1949 

Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs, 
Leroy A. Wilson, 5 

Television Strides Ahead in Seven-League Boots, 
Harry H. Carter, 9 

Looking Ahead with the Bell System, 20 

Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices, Cyril K. Collins, 27 

You Can Tell by the Teller, Arthur F. Leet, 39 

Purchasing by the Western Electric Company, 
George deMare, 45 

Index Now Available, 54 

25 Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 55 

San Francisco's Chinatown "Goes Dial," 
Wheeler F. Schall, 57 

The Winter's Toll Was Heavy from Texas to the Dakotas, 
Judson S. Bradley, 66 

A Medium of Suggestion ^ a Record of Progress 

Published J or the supervisory forces of the Bell System by the Information Department of 
American Telephoxe and Telegraph Co., 795 Broadway, New York 7, N. Y. 
Leroy A. Wilson, President; Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, Sec; Donald R. Belcher, Treas. 

Who's Who & What's What 
in This Issue 

Leroy A. Wilson 

The second of President Leroy A. 
Wilson's notable statements to stockhold- 
ers at the A. T. & T. annual meeting heads 
this issue, his first having appeared here 
just a year ago, not long after his election 
to the Company presidency on February 
1 8, 1948. That election climaxed a Bell 

System career which had begun 26 years 
before with the Indiana Bell Telephone 
Company when, two days after graduation 
from Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre 
Haute, in June of 1922, he reported for 
work as a traffic clerk and student in In- 
dianapolis. During his years with that 
company he had direct charge of the tele- 
phone operating forces in several districts 
throughout the state before returning to 
Indianapolis as district traffic superintend- 
ent in 1927. 

Mr. Wilson transferred in 1929 to the 
Department of Operation and Engineering 
of the A. T. & T. Company in New York. 
His first work there was in the Traffic di- 
vision, but he also gained experience in 
dial equipment engineering and in related 
fields. Ten years after his arrival in New 
York, he moved from the Traffic to the 
Commercial division of O. & E., where he 
was placed in charge of the work on tele- 
phone directories. The following year he 
was made rate engineer in the same di- 

Harry H. Carter 

Cyril K. Collins 

Arthur F. Leet 

Who's Who & What's What 

George deMare 

Wheeler F. SchaU 

Judson S. Bradley 

vision, and in 19^2 he was appointed to 
head the entire Commercial division. 

It was from this post that Mr. Wilson 
was promoted to an A. T. & T. vice presi- 
dency in 1944, with the assignment to study 
the revenue requirements of the Bell Sys- 
tem ; and it was during this period that he 
contributed "Reasonable Earnings to In- 
sure the Best Service" to the Magazine 
for Autumn 1945. 

"Behind today's news are long yester- 
days . . . that have brought television to 
its present stage . . ." notes Harry H. 
Carter at the beginning of his article. He 
knows a good deal about those yesterdays, 
because his term as General Commercial 
Manager of A. T. & T.'s Long Lines De- 
partment covers a period of 22 years. That 
is less than half of his Bell System career, 
which began in 1903 with the New Eng- 
land Telephone and Telegraph Company 
in Belfast, Maine. He had gained experi- 
ence in both Plant and Traffic work by 
19 10, when he was transferred to the 
Commercial Department ; and had been 
successively Division Commercial Superin- 
tendent, General Sales Manager, and 
Metropolitan Division Manager of the 
New England Company before his transfer 
in 1927 to become head of the Long Lines 
Commercial Department in New York. 

Few toll traffic men are popular with their 
own families at Christmas, because they 
spend so much of that festive day where 
the twinkling lights are on the switchboards 
instead of on Christmas trees. That is a 
requirement of the job which they accept 
not too unwillingly, however, because they 
know their presence in the traffic rooms 
may help other people's Christmas tele- 
phone calls go through more quickly. As 
chairman of the special Bell System com- 
mittee to study the Christmas service prob- 
lem, Cyril K. Collins spent a good part 
of last Christmas Day at the Long Lines 
Department in New York, and discusses 
the problem with that — among other mat- 
ters — freshly in mind. Joining the Bell 
System in 1924, Mr, Collins had 16 years 
of Traffic Department experience with the 
New York Telephone Company and the 
New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, be- 
coming successively District Traffic Super- 
intendent, Toll Results Supervisor, and 
Traffic Methods Supervisor. In January 
of 1 94 1 he was transferred to the Traffic 
division of the Department of Operation 
and Engineering in the A. T. and T. Com- 
pany, where he headed the group concerned 
with force adjustment, peg counts, and ex- 
pense analyses. Two years later he was 
{Continued on page $6) 

'% r 

:.- .-.^m 

>'" t^ 




// <:«/^/^ p/ow train negotiates a steep hill on the Harrisburg-Pittsburgh section of the 
Philadelphia-Cleveland coaxial cable link joining the Bell System's Eastern and Mid- 
Western television networks. See the article beginning on page p 

In His Statement at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders 

Of A. T. &f T., the Company s President Points Out the 

Major Problems and How They Are Being Met 

Moving Ahead on Two 
All-Important Jobs 

Leroy A. fVilson 

During this post-war period, the 
Bell System has been moving at full 
speed and with utmost energy to ac- 
complish two all-important jobs. 

The first was to provide service to 
all who were waiting for telephones 
at the war's end — to meet the enor- 
mous new post-war demand — and to 
get the quality of service back to the 
high pre-war level. 

The great efforts we have made 
have brought outstanding results, 
though we fully realize that there is 
still more to be done. We have in- 
stalled over 10,000,000 new tele- 
phones since the end of the war. 
While there is still a waiting list, 
those who are waiting have for the 
most part applied for service in re- 
cent months. We are filling the 
great majority of all new applications 
promptly and are continuing our ef- 
forts to get on a basis where we can 
serve every new customer without de- 
lay. Over-all service quality, as was 

pointed out in the Annual Report 
mailed to stockholders in February, 
is rapidly being restored to pre-war 
excellence, and today I am glad to be 
able to add that in some respects the 
service is better than ever. 

Our second continuing and essen- 
tial post-war job has been to bring 
about a proper repricing of telephone 
service, to meet the steep climb in 
operating costs and to insure the 
financial good health of the Bell Sys- 
tem in the face of the general infla- 
tion of our national economy. Here 
too we have made much progress — 
and also have much more to do. I 
should like to review this phase of 
our efforts briefly with you at this 
time, and think you may be inter- 
ested first in some of the facts about 
our increases in costs. 

To ATTRACT and keep in the busi- 
ness the kind and number of people 
needed to meet our post-war service 

Bell Telephone Magazine 


obligations to the public, wages have 
been greatly increased. Further up- 
ward adjustments in wages made in 
the latter part of 1948 and early this 
year have increased expenses by more 
than $100,000,000 annually. The 
total effect of the three rounds of 
wage increases in the Bell System 
Companies since the end of the war 
has been to increase expenses of the 
System by over $380,000,000 a year. 
In addition to wages, the System 
in 1948 expended approximately 
$175,000,000 for sickness, accident, 
and death benefits to employees or 
their dependents; for disability pen- 
sions; for payments into Pension 
Trust Funds; and for Social Security 
old-age benefit purposes. The Bell 
System has been a pioneer in this field 
since 19 13, when our Benefit Plan 
was established, and is in the fore- 
front of industry generally with re- 
spect to pensions and other employee 

Higher wages to the much larger 
number of employees needed to care 
for the increased volume of business 
are not the only reason for the higher 
over-all cost of operations today. 
The System has been obligated to ex- 
pand to meet the heaviest new de- 
mand for service in history, at a time 
when the prices of practically all ma- 
terials, as well as the cost of labor, 
have risen sharply. The increase in 
revenues from the greatly increased 
volume of business does not offset 
the increase in expenses. On the con- 
trary, while revenues have about dou- 
bled since the last pre-war year, ex- 
penses are now two and a half times 
what they were. 

Telephone companies are different 
from most other businesses with re- 

spect to the expansion of their serv- 
ices. The average business can de- 
cide for itself whether to expand, and 
when, and how much. We, however, 
render a public service, and in each 
community where we operate every 
person who wants telephone service 
depends on us. He cannot get what 
he wants from someone else. It is 
our obligation, therefore, as well as 
our wish, to do everything we rea- 
sonably can to meet the public's 
needs. That is our job, and the Bell 
System is proud of its accomplish- 
ment since the war in handling the 
unprecedented demand for service. 

Although expansion has already 
been tremendous, still more is re- 
quired to meet the continuing de- 
mand. So far, as I have said, the 
System has added some 10,000,000 
telephones, including 1,100,000 rural 
telephones, which we are continuing 
to install at the fastest pace in his- 
tory. We have also greatly in- 
creased long distance facilities. In 
order to do all this, the System has 
increased Its capital from slightly 
more than four billion dollars at the 
end of the war, when we were serv- 
ing some 22,000,000 telephones, to 
nearly seven billion dollars today, 
when there are 32,000,000 tele- 
phones in service. While the num- 
ber of telephones has gone up some- 
what less than one half, the capital 
required by the System has gone up 
nearly 75 percent. The average new 
telephone requires much more capital 
than did the old, reflecting the higher 
costs of materials and labor in the 
post-war years. 

Prices for telephone service are 
subject to public regulation. In most 
industries, companies change prices 


Moving Ahead on Two All-Important Jobs 

themselves, in accordance with chang- 
ing conditions of supply and demand, 
fluctuations in operating costs, com- 
petitive factors, and so on. In the 
telephone business, however, when 
price increases become necessary we 
must apply to the proper regulatory 
authorities for permission to put 
them into effect. In most instances, 
the hearings which are held have 
been rather lengthy. As a result, al- 
most without exception, rate increases 
to date have been authorized well 
after the time when they became 
needed. It is of the greatest impor- 
tance to the future of telephone serv- 
ice that the moderate increases in 
rates which are necessary be granted 
by the regulatory authorities as 
promptly as possible. 

Since 1946, when the first requests 
for higher rates were made by the 
Bell System Companies, increases to- 
talling $218,000,000 annually have 
been authorized or made effective. 
You will note that this is a great deal 
less than the increase in expense of 
over $380,000,000 a year resulting 
from post-war wage increases alone. 
The Companies have applications 
pending for additional increases in 
rates amounting to about $230,000,- 
000 annually, and other applications 
will be made. This is necessary be- 
cause we must not only meet the in- 
creased costs of labor and materials 
and the depreciation charges on the 
higher investment, but must also pay 
to investors a reasonable return on 
the almost doubled amount of capi- 
tal needed to provide service. 

Public regulation of the tele- 
phone business and public utilities 
was very properly initiated many 
years ago to insure that the com- 
panies would give good service and 

President Leroy A. Wilson discusses a 
point with a stockholder at the close of the 
annual meeting. In the background is 
Carroll 0. Bickelhaupt, Vice President 
and Secretary 

that their rates and earnings would 
not be unreasonable. It was clear 
that the companies should not be per- 
mitted to take advantage of the 
users of the service. It was also 
clear that guarding against overpric- 
ing and excessive earnings was not 
the only responsibility resting on 
those who regulate public service 
companies. They likewise have the 
responsibility to see that the com- 
panies do not lose their ability, 
through loss of credit or for any 
other reason, to provide the service 
the public wants; and along with this 
they have a responsibility to see that 
the savings which people invest in the 
companies, in order that the public 
may be served, are fully safeguarded. 
Over the years, regulatory bodies 
have recognized that earnings must 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

be adequate to attract and protect the 
savings of investors, and it is impera- 
tive in the interest of good telephone 
service that they continue to do so. 
In this post-war period, while in- 
creases in Bell System telephone rates 
have varied for different classes of 
service in different places, the amount 
of increases already granted, plus the 
total amount for which applications 
are now pending, comes to less than 
20 percent of revenues. Additional 
applications for increases will be nec- 
essary in the future; but, assuming 
no further rise In costs, we are hope- 
ful that these can be held to a mini- 
mum, and that in the long run the 
over-all Increase In telephone rates In 
this post-war period will amount on 
the average to only a penny or so 
per call. 

This is of course far less than the 
Increases generally in the cost of liv- 
ing since pre-war years. It is far less 
than the rise in telephone wage rates, 
which have more than doubled. It 
is far less, too, than the Increase in 
the cost of raw materials widely used 
in telephone equipment; copper and 
lead, for example, have about dou- 
bled and tripled in price, respectively. 
Comparing such increases In costs 
with the over-alh Increase In tele- 
phone rates granted and asked for, it 
is evident that a great deal has been 
accomplished through telephone sci- 
ence and the improvement of operat- 
ing methods, to the advantage of em- 
ployees, customers, and stockholders. 

Further evidences of progress are 
to be found in the new and improved 
services which are even now fore- 
shadowing the telephone art of to- 
morrow. The plans of past year^ 
are being transformed into the reali- 

ties of today — more dial service, 
faster and more accurate handling of 
long distance calls dialed straight 
through to the distant telephone by 
the operator, more service to auto- 
mobiles and other vehicles, more 
rural telephone service, television 
transmission over coaxial cables and 
radio relay, direct dialing by tele- 
phone users of more out-of-town calls 
over short distances, and so on. 

This outlook again brings out the 
great value of keeping the Bell Sys- 
tem In a prosperous condition to 
move ahead. A Bell System ready 
and able to Invest largely in the bet- 
terment of essential services is im- 
portant to the prosperity of the na- 
tion. An active construction pro- 
gram on sound and useful projects, 
and an accompanying high level of 
telephone employment, are in them- 
selves desirable. Most important of 
all, they lead to the creation of fa- 
cilities and services which the coun- 
try can use to Its Increasing economic 

We are sure that, given the in- 
creases in rates which are a "must" 
to assure future progress, the Bell 
System will be able to provide more 
valuable service to the millions of 
telephone users and greater oppor- 
tunity for the employees who serve 
them. We shall continue every effort 
to accomplish the moderate and fair 
repricing that the good of the service 
requires; and we shall do this with 
full confidence that wise regulation, 
in the future as in the past, will 
permit earnings that will provide a 
steady and fair return to all who in- 
vest their savings in this business. 

Beli System Facilities Link Cities from the Atlanfic to 

The Mississippi in a Network for the Transmission of Video 

Programs by Cable and Radio 

Tele^ision Strides Ahead 
In Se\^en-Lea2:ue Boots 

Harry H. Carter 


coming into being. In the present 
state of television, nothing is static; 
today's achievement is tomorrow's 
commonplace. A fascinating vital- 
ity, a headlong progress, is the dis- 
tinguishing feature of this latest field 
to engage the energies and resources 
of the Bell System. 

Television has occupied so many 
headlines in the past year that it 
would be easy to assume all these ad- 
vances just happened, and quite re- 
cently at that. But, as those wise in 
the ways of scientific and commercial 
development know, such is not the 
case. Behind today's news are long 
yesterdays of effort on the part of the 
individuals and organizations that 
have brought television to its present 
stage and labor to push it forward 
into a finer tomorrow. 

The Bell System's connection with 
television comes about in a manner 
almost classic in the history of 

the telephone company's relationship 
with a new field of communication. 
Television is communication, of 
course. And communication is the 
business of the Bell System. Q. E. D. 
Since the birth of the telephone 
some seventy-five years ago, each new 
service has been an outgrowth of its 
predecessor. Local telephoning . . . 
long distance . . . then radioteleph- 
ony to cities beyond the sea. . . . 
Lately we have extended telephoning 
to mobile vehicles, trains, and planes. 
For more than a quarter of a century 
a giant network of specal telephone 
wires has sped programs between 
radio stations. Recently, new values 
have been introduced into our net- 
works — this time their ability to 
carry television programs both lo- 
cally and from city to city. Striding 
forward in the fresh field of video, 
the Bell System nonetheless remains 
within its familiar basic field: com- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


President Leroy A. Wilson of the A. T. and T. Company 

was televised last January ii during the program on the 

occasion of the linking of the Bell System's two major 

television networks 

Early this year, when we joined 
our Eastern and Midwestern tele- 
vision networks, programs could then 
flash from the Atlantic to the Mis- 
sissippi. An area where one-fourth 
of the nation lives had been brought 
within range of the Bell System's 
inter-city channels. In the opinion 
of the industry, this was a tremen- 
dous milestone, and a portent of 
larger television networks in the fu- 

At the premiere marking the occa- 
sion, many a telephone man fell to 
thinking back over the years to the 
research and commercial develop- 
ment which preceded this important 
event. On April 7, 1927, to begin 
with, the Bell Telephone Laborator- 

ies first demonstrated 
city-to-city television 
transmission by both 
wire and radio. From 
Washington by wire cir- 
cuit, and from Whip- 
pany, N. J., by radio 
facilities, television pic- 
tures of Herbert 
Hoover, then Secretary 
of Commerce, and of 
an entertainment pro- 
gram were seen in the 
Laboratories headquar- 
ters in New York by 
Walter S. Gifford, then 
President of the A. T. 
& T. Company, and a 
group of scientists and 

Although television 
transmission remained 
in the laboratory stage 
until the present decade, 
additional achievements 
were announced periodi- 
cally — some so special- 
ized as to be significant only to scien- 
tists, but others whose importance 
was evident even to the average in- 
terested person. Examples of these 
developments appear in the box on 
page 12. 

As those listings indicate, the late 
1930s hinted strongly that the era 
of commercial usage was not far off. 
Today's television networks grew 
from a 94^-mile coaxial cable in- 
stalled in the Fall of 1936 between 
New York and Philadelphia. In the 
next few years, many important ad- 
vances in inter-city television trans- 
mission were first worked out over 
this cable. However, during World 
War II, Bell System television devel- 
opment was halted and the coaxial 


Television Strides Ahead 


cable was returned to 
general telephone com- 
munication service. 

Out of the Laborat07-y 

With the war over, 
the television industry 
expanded rapidly and 
our activities were re- 
sumed. Since then, each 
year has been marked 
by an accelerated pro- 
gram as the Bell Sys- 
tem has made intensive 
efforts to solve the diffi- 
cult problems involved 
in placing an extensive 
network service at the 
disposal of television 

Step One in this lat- 
est phase took place on 
February 12, 1946, 
when network television 
transmission between 
Washington and New 
York was inaugurated over Bell Sys- 
tem coaxial cable facilities on an ex- 
perimental basis, such service permit- 
ting trial use by the broadcasters with- 
out charge. Services at the Lincoln 
Memorial were televised and trans- 
mitted to broadcasting stations in 
New York of the National Broad- 
casting Company, the Allen B. Du- 
Mont Laboratories, and the Colum- 
bia Broadcasting System. 

As the months passed, our service 
was increasingly used — particularly 
for programs originating in New 
York and transmitted to Philadel- 
phia and Washington — and in Oc- 
tober, 1946, Baltimore was joined to 
this network. 

So far, coaxial cable had been the 

Herbert Hoover^ then Secretary of Commerce.^ appeared 
in Washington during the first public demonstration of 
television given by the Bell Telephone Laboratories on 
April 7, 79^7. His face was clearly seen in New York 

type of carrier relied upon for such 
television transmission, but now the 
Bell System added a second string to 
its bow: radio relay. Using this 
system, which beams the signal 
through the air from tower to tower. 
Bell System engineers extended the 
New York-Washington network to 
Boston in November, 1947. A few 
months later, Richmond was con- 
nected to the network by means of a 
coaxial cable channel from Washing- 
ton. And so the situation remained 
until May i, 1948, when free experi- 
mental service was discontinued and 
Bell System television network trans- 
mission was placed on a commercial 

Charges for inter-city television 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Some Bell System Highlights in Television 
Research and Network Development 

April 7, 1927 Inter-city television 
transmission first demonstrated to the 
public by the Bell Telephone Labora- 
tories. From Washington by wire 
circuit and from Whippany, N. J., 
by radio facilities, television pictures 
of Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of 
Commerce, and of an entertainment 
program were seen in the Laborator- 
ies in New York by Walter S. Gif- 
ford, then president of the A. T. and 
T. Company, and a group of journal- 
ists and scientists. 

April 16, 1927 Both image and sound 
(video and audio) were sent on the 
same frequency band by a single radio 
transmitter from Whippany to the 
Bell Laboratories in New York. 

May 23, 1929 Original Espenschied- 
Affel patent application for coaxial 
cable was filed. The application 
specified the cable was to be used as 
a wide band (wide frequency range) 
long distance transmitting medium — 
both for telephone and for television 

June 27, 1929 Color television first 
demonstrated at the Bell Telephone 
Laboratories in New York. 

April 9, 1930 Two-way television in 
connection with telephone demon- 
strated publicly between the A. T. and 
T. Company Headquarters building 
and the Bell Telephone Laboratories 
in New York. Persons in booths at 
the two ends of the two-mile "line" 

were able to both see and talk with 
each other. The demonstration for 
public and press was continued for 
more than a year. 

October 5, 1936 First coaxial cable in- 
stalled between New York and Phila- 
delphia, available for tests for multi- 
channel telephone use. 

November 9, 1937 Television trans- 
mitted over coaxial cable from New 
York to Philadelphia. The television 
image contained only 240 lines, as op- 
posed to the 525-line image of today. 

May 21, 1940 Television images of 
441 lines and using a frequency band 
of about 2,700,000 cycles transmitted 
over coaxial cable from New York to 
Philadelphia and back to New York, 
a distance of nearly 200 miles. This 
demonstration was repeated before 
audiences of scientists and engineers 
twice within a year. 

June 24, 1940 Republican National 
Convention televised in Philadelphia, 
and transmitted to the National 
Broadcasting Company's studio in 
New York for local television broad- 

May 21, 1 94 1 Television images trans- 
mitted 800 miles by connecting the 
ends of coaxial tubes in a cable be- 
tween Stevens Point, Wis., and 
Minneapolis, so that the images were 
sent uninterruptedly back and forth 
in the cable. 


Television Strides Ahead 


service follow somewhat the same 
scheme as do those for radio broad- 
casting network service. The rates 
for either monthly or occasional serv- 
ice are based on the air-line mileage 
of the inter-city and local channels 
involved, plus charges for station 
connections. In addition, the rates 
for the audio channels needed in con- 
nection with television are those usual 
for such service. 

The Big Night 

Thus far, our channels had paral- 
leled the Atlantic, but on September 
20 of last year a new region was 
brought within the scope of inter-city 
television service as the Bell System 

linked together seven major Mid- 
western cities : Buffalo, Cleveland, 
Toledo, Detroit, Milwaukee, Chi- 
cago and St. Louis. Finally came 
television's biggest night to date : 
January 11, 1949. Then it was we 
connected our two networks, and 
Americans in fourteen metropolitan 
centers were given an opportunity to 
view the same program simultane- 
ously as it traveled over a Bell System 
network extending 2,100 miles. 

The Bell System and the four 
great television broadcasting systems 
jointly presented a 90-minute pro- 
gram to signalize what Leroy A. 
Wilson, President of the A. T. & T. 
Company, described as a "fine ex- 

The final splice is made in the coaxial cable between Pittsburgh and Cleveland which 
united the Eastern and Mid-Western television networks 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


A radio relay station of the type now 

being built to transmit telephone calls and 

television programs 

ample of effective teamwork" be- 
tween Bell System people and those 
in the television industry. This pro- 
gram, broadcast by more than thirty 
stations, featured notables speaking 
from New York, Washington, and 
Chicago; a new Long Lines Depart- 
ment film, "Stepping Along With 
Television"; and entertainment pro- 
vided by the four networks. On this 
occasion Mr. Wilson tied the Bell 
System's work in television to its 
basic responsibility, telephony, by 
saying "The development of better 
long distance service has resulted in 
facilities which can carry television 
programs, and therefore enable us to 
help serve the public in this field." 

From Washington, Wayne Coy, 
Chairman of the Federal Communi- 
cations Commission, compared the 
joining of the two regions by tele- 
vision to "those waves of progress 
[which] took the form of the over- 
land trails and national roads with 
their covered wagons, the canals, the 
railroads, the telegraph, the tele- 
phone, the airplane. 

"In the twenties it was the radio 

"Tonight it is an electronic tele- 
vision highway from the Atlantic 
Ocean to the Mississippi River." 

After touching on the years of re- 
search represented and the size of the 
network, Mr. Coy continued, "To- 
night's linking of the East with the 
Midwest instantly opens up a vast 
new area of program resources for 
the television set-owners in each sec- 
tion — programs in the fields of edu- 
cation, the arts and sciences, news 
and entertainment — programs that 
can deepen our understanding of de- 

"Triumphant as this occasion is, 
we know that it is only one more for- 
ward step in television's march of 
progress. This progress will go on 
and on until . . . eventually, na- 
tional television network service is 
brought to every part of our coun- 
try. . . ." 

The presidents of the four net- 
works then appeared on the opening 
program to discuss various aspects of 
the television industry. They were : 
Allen B. DuMont, head of the Du- 
Mont Laboratories; Niles Tram- 
mell, of NBC; Frank Stanton, 
CBS; and Mark Woods, ABC. In 
addition, Vincent Impellitteri, presi- 
dent of the City Council of New 
York (representing Mayor William 


Television Strides Ahead 


O'Dwyer, who was unable to be 
present), and Mayor Martin Ken- 
nelly of Chicago spoke from their 
home cities. 

The event attracted wide attention 
in the trade and general press. The 
New York Times commented edi- 
torially on the extension of the net- 
work: "Its importance as a technical 
triumph, of which both the television 
broadcasters and the American Tele- 
phone and Telegraph Company may 
be justly proud, was self-evident to 
those in New York who watched 
Mayor Martin Kennelly as he spoke 
in Chicago, some 700 air miles 

The following day, regular com- 
mercial service was available to tele- 
vision broadcasters, and from Wash- 
ington the next week all stations on 
the enlarged Bell System network 
broadcast the Inauguration. 

Behind the Scenes 

The performance challenged the 
skill of every telephone man involved, 
and one broadcasting company presi- 
dent termed the Bell System part in 
the premiere "a splendid job." 

The television industry is so eager 
to bring network programs to a 
larger public that the Bell System is 
expanding its facilities as early as 
possible, and under such circum- 
stances our technicians must often 
work with somewhat limited equip- 
ment and under less than ideal con- 
ditions. The present television situ- 
ation reminds old radio broadcasting 
hands of conditions when their field 
was very new. On the opening 
night, for example, technicians oper- 
ated the television network in tem- 
porary control rooms in all but two 
of the cities. 

Preparations for the opening had 
been going on for more than two 
months, as the link between the two 
networks — the newly-introduced co- 
axial cable between Philadelphia and 
Cleveland — was lined up and tested. 
Such testing, which involves many 
changes and adjustments, continued 
until the initial program was to go on 
the air. 

And there were of course those 
standard hectic moments which cause 
people in show business to look upon 
a bad dress rehearsal as essential to 
a good performance. On the night 
before the premiere, for example, a 
pilot elimination filter failed in a re- 
ceiving terminal at New York. Al- 
though a new one was rushed in from 
Western Electric, there still was a 
joker : such filters take hours to warm 
up to the temperature at which they 
will operate without playing hob with 
pictures on the television receiving 

P.S. That trouble was ultimately 
licked — and the picture d'td get 

Coaxial and Radio Relay 

As SUGGESTED previously, there are 
two types of facilities in the Bell Sys- 
tem television networks — coaxial 
cable * and radio relay. 

Coaxial cables, which are some- 
what larger in diameter than a silver 
dollar, usually contain eight copper 
tubes each about the size of a foun- 
tain pen. Through the center of 
each tube runs a copper wire, the size 
of a pencil lead, which is held in place 
by insulating discs. Since the tube 
and inner wire have a common axis, 
they are co-axial — which accounts for 
the name given both the cable and its 

* See page 23. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


tubes. To prevent either telephone 
or television transmission from fad- 
ing out over long distances, amplify- 
ing stations are placed every eight 
miles along the cable route. 

Properly equipped, each of these 
tubes carries high frequency signals 
used to transmit hundreds of tele- 
phone conversations or, when addi- 
tional equipment is installed, a single 
television program. (As each co- 
axial tube only transmits in one di- 
rection, two tubes are needed for a 
telephone conversation.) Coaxial 
cable is usually buried under ground; 
and its installation is not only an ex- 
acting job but it makes an exciting 
scene, for the construction crews with 
their mighty plows must conquer 
timberland, rivers, boulders, and 
mountain ranges. 

Radio relay, the second medium, 
is a means of communication in which 
radio signals are beamed across the 
country from tower to tower. Dif- 
fering from ordinary radio, it uses 
super-high frequencies called micro- 
waves, which are about the length of 
a cigarette. In this system, the sig- 
nal beam can be focussed like a 
searchlight and a clear line of sight 
must exist between the relay build- 
ings, which have directional antennas 
and are situated about twenty-five 
miles apart. 

Along these routes and in the tele- 
vision terminals of cities on the Bell 
System networks are large amounts 
of complex equipment. In the net- 
work now in operation, for example, 
770 amplifiers maintain the signal 
energy as it travels from city to city 
and some 340 additional amplifying 
devices in the terminals in key tele- 
phone buildings are necessary to put 

the broadcasters' programs on the 

Checking and More Checking 

In addition to those telephone men 
who were trained in handling local 
phases of the program, several hun- 
dred Long Lines and Associated 
Company craftsmen were trained 
during 1948 in the operation of the 
inter-city television circuits. 

Every day, in the control rooms 
along the routes, the technicians who 
maintain and operate the television 
networks line up and adjust the fa- 
cilities before broadcasts are sched- 
uled to begin. Shortly before a show 
is to start, test pictures and patterns 
are also sent out to stations about to 
receive a particular program, such 
pre-broadcast tests being made to 
check the fidelity of the transmission 
signal. In addition, during the ac- 
tual broadcast Long Lines and Asso- 
ciated Company technicians observe 
the picture and sound quality on moni- 
toring equipment. 

Above all, these technicians must 
meet that conspicuous test of good 
workmanship : the switch. This is a 
swift re-arrangement of network 
channels. Guided by the broadcast- 
ers' schedules, the technicians must 
be prepared to add or cut stations 
from the networks as well as to shift 
to whatever station is to originate a 
program. In addition, these pre- 
cisionists must test the performance, 
coordinate, and switch the accom- 
panying sound channels, which are 
routed over separate circuits. 

Finally, they give routine perform- 
ance tests to the hundreds of ampli- 
fying devices in the television termi- 
nals and in the stations along the 


Television Strides Ahead 


coaxial cable, to make sure they are 

in proper operating condition. And 
the radio relay equipment must also 
undergo similar inspection and ad- 

How much television broadcasters 
use these inter-city facilities is illus- 
trated by program transmission on a 
typical recent day. Broadcasters used 
our television channels between New 
York and Washington on an average 
of 30 hours per day, which is more 
than seven times as much as when 
service was first put on a commercial 
basis in May a year ago. Between 
New York and Chicago, such usage 
averages about 25 hours per day — 
more than four times that when serv- 
ice on this route was opened last 

A Gro'wi?ig Service 

Growth is the very theme of televi- 
sion today. Plans for increasing our 
facilities depend, of course, on the de- 

velopment and needs of the television 
industry. A highly fluid situation, 
it is consequently under constant re- 
view by the interested parties. The 
Bell System position was stated by 
Mr. Wilson when, in announcing 
the inaugural program marking the 
linking of our networks last Jan- 
uary, he referred to our intention 
of providing those inter-city facilities 
"which will make it possible for the 
television industry to bring programs 
to a constantly expanding audience." 
To implement this position, our 
plans call for more television channels 
along the existing main routes of the 
Bell System television networks and 
extensions as well from the present 
network to additional cities. Under 
the 1949 program, for example, more 
cities in New England, New York, 
Pennsylvania, and the Midwest, and 
on the West Coast will be provided 
with service. Extensions to still more 
points are planned for 1950 and 

The control room of a television transmitting station 

Bell Telephone Magazine 


A Bell System technician checks the quality of television 

image and sound on monitoring equipment at a control 

center along one of the television networks 

later. More than that, 
not only has the Long 
Lines recently doubled 
the number of channels 
on Its main trunk route 
between Philadelphia 
and Chicago but it put 
these channels into serv- 
ice ahead of the date 
originally set. 

Such a revision in 
schedule was no light 
change to undertake, as 
it raised a whole series 
of problems in plan- 
ning, timing, technique, 
supply, construction, 
and manpower. It is, 
however, excellent evi- 
dence of the Bell Sys- 
tem's response to the 
requirements of the tele- 

vision industry as well 
as a splendid example 
of coordination on the 
part of its various com- 
ponents — the Bell Lab- 
oratories, the Western 
Electric Company, the 
Associated Companies, 
and the Long Lines De- 

On the West Coast, 
a radio relay circuit is 
being built this year be- 
tween Los Angeles and 
San Francisco, which 
will form the basis for 
network service in that 
area. And all during 
1949, work is going for- 
ward on the Important 
radio-relay project 
which will provide more 

Some of the terminal equipment of the Bell System^ s long 

distance micro-wave radio relay system in the Long Lines 

building in New York 


Television Strides Ahead 


television and long distance telephone 
service between New York ajid Chi- 
cago, and beyond to Des Moines next 
year. In 1950, television service 
from Des Moines will be extended to 
Minneapolis and St. Paul by coaxial 

Improved equipment, which in- 
cludes a new vacuum tube developed 
by the Bell Telephone Laboratories, 
will mark this new radio relay system, 
making it an advance over the facili- 
ties between New York and Boston 
introduced in November, 1947. To 
speed the project, the Western Elec- 
tric Company has established an 
especially fast manufacturing sched- 
ule for the new relay equipment to 
go into the key terminals and the 33 
intermediate stations along the route. 

In addition to benefiting from the 
experience already gained in operat- 
ing other Bell System radio relay 
systems, the new facilities will be 
simpler to maintain, more reliable, 
and will ultimately provide more 
channels than any other micro-wave 
system in service. 

By its activities in the field of 
television, the Bell System is playing 
a role in the latest and most exciting 
communications development. But 
there is more to the story than that. 
For as its projects come to life, they 
make clear how the teamwork of 
Bell' System men and women, busy in 
scores of departments of the various 
cooperating companies, can create a 
new service for the benefit of the 

Neither chance nor mere good fortune has brought this na- 
tion the finest telephone service in the world. The service 
Americans enjoy in such abundance is directly the product of 
their own imagination, enterprise and common sense. . . . 

In this climate of freedom and responsibility, the Bell Sys- 
tem has provided service of steadily increasing value to more 
and more people. Our policy, often stated, is to give the best 
possible service at the lowest cost consistent with financial safety 
and fair treatment of employees. We are organized as we are 
in order to carry that policy out. Bell Telephone Laboratories 
leads the world in improving communication devices and tech- 
niques. Western Electric Company provides the Bell operat- 
ing companies with telephone equipment of the highest quality 
at reasonable prices, and can always be counted on in emer- 
gencies to deliver the goods whenever and wherever needed. 
The operating telephone companies and the parent company 
work together so that improvements in one place may spread 
quickly to others. Because all units of the System have the 
same service goals great benefits flow to the public. 

From the A. T. £3° T. annual report for 1948. 

Above^ dialing long distance calls. Operators use sets of keys on the switchboard shelf 

to dial straight through to distant telephones. Toll dial networks now reach some joo 

cities and are expanding. New equipment and methods make possible this important 

step toward faster^ more accurate long distance service 

Visitors to Bell System exhibit now touring the country listen to a demonstration of long 

distance dialing. Other demonstrations of new telephone developments^ shown at the 

exhibit, are among the pictures on the following pages 


Looking Ahead with 
The Bell System 

New developments in telephone 
service are shown in the pictures 
on the opposite page and the pages 
which follow. 

They are new products of Bell 
Telephone Laboratories, newly 
made in Western Electric factories, 
and they form an important part 
of the Bell System's great post- 
war program of expansion and im- 

The list is impressive : direct 
dialing of calls by long distance 
operators . . . the automatic re- 
cording of accounting details of 
toll calls . . . more telephones in 
cars, boats, and moving trains . . . 
long distance calls and television 
beamed by radio . . . new net- 
works of an improved type of 
telephone cable . . . crystals iden- 
tical with natural quartz, but 

grown artificially ... a new am- 
plifier little bigger than a pencil 
eraser . . . 

Several of these recent develop- 
ments of telephone research were 
demonstrated to stockholders who 
attended the Annual Meeting of 
the A. T. and T. Company in New 
York on April 20. An exhibition 
of them is going on tour through- 
out the country, so that telephone 
workers and telephone users will 
have opportunity to see the new 
devices in operation. 

Some are still in the experimen- 
tal stage ; others are already being 
put to use on a wider and wider 
scale. But all hold out for the 
future the promise of a tele- 
phone service that grows steadily 
in its usefulness and value to the 


Telephone customers in certain metropolitan areas can now dial calls to nearby places 
in the same way that they dial local calls. An electrical ''brain" receives the dialed 
number and completes the call^ while an Automatic Message Accounting system gathers 

the information necessary for billing 

Dr. Va)inevar Bush^ one of America s foremost scientists and an A. T. & T. Company 

Director, views the Automatic Message Accounting equipment in the touring Bell 

System exhibit. The machine punches coded patterns on paper tape to reco7-d all the 

information necessary for billing thousands of toll calls 



Exhibit visitors see a demonstration of how radio beams ^ relayed from station to station y 
can transmit ''bundles" of telephone conversations andy in addition^ television programs. 
Another means of accomplishing this is the coaxial cablcy shown below. A new develop- 
ment will enable each pair of tubes in this cable to carry either 1800 telephone conver- 
sations or 600 conversations and two television channels simultaneously 

At lefty one step in fabricat- 
ing coaxial cable in the Point 
Breez€y Marylandy plant of 
the Western Electric Com- 
panyy the manufacturing 
and supply unit of the Bell 
System. A section of the 
cable is shown below 


The transistor^ a new and amazingly simple electronic amplifier^ is demonstrated above. 
The tiny equipment at the top of the display panel does the work of the bulkier arrange- 
ment of vacuum tubes at the bottom. Transistors are based on an entirely new principle 
and seem destined for many applications in telephony 

The transistor' s importance to the future 

of communications is far greater than its 

tiny size would suggest. Two types are 

shown above 

With natural quartz hard to get, slices of 
this synthetic crystal will be used in carry- 
ing several conversations over the same 
wires at the same time 


Traveling telephones — the Bell System's new mobile service — are now in use in most 

major cities and on many highways. The service^ first introduced in 1^46^ serves cars^ 

boatSy and trains. Above^ Miss Joan Blair, a great-granddaughter of Alexander 

Graham Bell, uses a mobile telephone 

Building for the future has called for the biggest Bell System construction program in 

history. Here a telephone building is being enlarged to house additional dial equipment. 

In less than four years, busy Western Electric factories have turned out enough equipment 

and apparatus to serve 10,000,000 new telephones 


Telephone service in rural areas is rapidly being extended and improved by Jast^ eco- 
nomical construction methods and important new techniques. Power-driven pole-hole 
diggers like the one above have helped the Bell System add a million telephones in farm 
areas since the war, increasing the number of rural telephones in service by 6^ per cent. 

The Future Holds Great Promise 

The telephone is seventy-three 
years old this year. Its develop- 
ment within a single lifetime has 
been a modern miracle. Yet this 
is only the beginning. The future 
will see greater progress than the 
past has ever known. 

The telephone's future is being 
built on firm foundations: on the 
ceaseless search for new and better 
devices and methods; on the loy- 
alty and skill of hundreds of thou- 

sands of men and women who 
build an'd operate the voiceways; 
on the confidence of hundreds of 
thousands of people in all walks of 
life who invest their savings to en- 
large and improve the telephone 

These have given America the 
best telephone service the world 
knows today — and for tomorrow 
they hold out the promise of still 
greater things to come. 


Forces Must Be Increased by as Much as yo Percent ^ Many 

Circuits Re-arranged^ and Other Special Measures Taken^ to 

Meet the Great One- Day Traffic Peak of the Year 

Merry Christmas in the 
Toll Offices 

Cyril K. Collins 

Merry Christmas! 

The exchange of this greeting by 
telephone with relatives and friends 
in distant places is becoming, in more 
and more American families, an event 
looked forward to with as much 
eagerness as is the decoration of the 
Christmas tree by those gathered at 
home. This widespread custom de- 
velops a peak in long distance calling 
at Christmas time which far exceeds 
the capacity of the vast toll networks 
of the country and presents the tele- 
phone companies with one of their 
most challenging service problems. 

The volume of long distance calls 
offered during Christmas Eve and on 
Christmas Day is far greater than in 
any similar period of the year. On 
Christmas Day, the volume in many 
cities is more than 50 percent higher 
than on an ordinary day; in some, 
the increase is 100 per cent or more. 

The problem of handling this great 
volume is complicated by the fact that 

these holiday calls do not follow the 
pattern of the normal traffic for which 
the toll circuit layout — the great na- 
tion-wide network of voice pathways 
— is designed. As compared to an 
ordinary day, Christmas calls to near- 
by points are relatively light. On the 
other hand, traffic to more distant 
points increases tremendously. Inter- 
state toll calls range up to more than 
four times a normal day; calls be- 
tween certain states increase as much 
as eight to ten times; and over some 
transcontinental routes the increase is 
even more. This heavy traffic to 
distant points results in severe con- 
gestion on the longer-haul circuit 

The situation on the telephone 
highways at Christmas time is not 
unlike that which exists on automo- 
bile highways around many large 
cities in the latter part of a beautiful 
summer Sunday afternoon, when all 
cars turn toward home. The local 

Bell Telephone Magazine 


streets, so busy on a weekday, are 
nearly deserted. On the other hand, 
the main arteries are congested, cars 
are lined up bumper to bumper, and 
hours are required to travel distances 
which may be covered in minutes on 
an ordinary day. 

Christmas holiday traffic has 
other unusual characteristics which 
make the calls more difficult to 
handle, and take more operating time 
per call, than on normal days. 

Calls fan out much more to small 
communities, greatly increasing the 
amount of switching involved. 

More calls are placed without the 
called number, people answer the 
telephone more slowly, conversation 
time is longer. More calls come 
from public telephones, more "don't 
answers" are encountered, than on 
a normal day. 

The time required to record calls 
is increased because of the diverse 
nature of requests and the necessity 
for quoting delays and explaining the 
situation to customers. 

Additional operating time is con- 
sumed in securing route and rate in- 
formation to points infrequently 

The number of switchboard sig- 
nals to be answered is increased by 
requests from customers for informa- 
tion about calls previously placed. 

The net effect is that the increase 
in requirements for circuits, switch- 
boards, and operators is much greater 
than the increase in calls. 

Despite greatly expanded oper- 
ating forces and the use of every 
available toll facility, many calls en- 
counter delay. Although the great 
majority of calls are completed, some 
are not. The customers' consequent 

Every toll switchboard position is filled on Christmas Day. In this central office^ the 

teams of girls at the temporary tables are helping to speed the calls by relieving the 

switchboard operators of certain details 


Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices 


Tickets for completed Christmas calls come to these positions for filing. Other tickets 
are dispatched to delay ed-c all operators^ who try to complete the connections over the 

the circuits to the called places 

disappointment is a matter of real 
concern not only to the operators who 
have tried to put the calls through 
but to the supervisory and executive 
groups of a business which exists for 
the purpose of providing such con- 
nections promptly and satisfactorily. 

The telephone companies take ex- 
traordinary steps in preparation for 
the holiday, so that the greatest pos- 
sible number of people may exchange 
greetings by telephone at Christmas 

They re-arrange existing and pro- 
vide additional toll circuits. They 
have supplemental operating posi- 
tions installed. 

They introduce special procedures 
to utilize available facilities most 
efficiently. They provide and train 
a great many operators. 

And they do a good deal of special 
advertising so that people may 
understand the situation. 

Re-arranging Toll Circuits 

The objective of holiday circuit 
planning has been to re-arrange toll 
circuits to meet as closely as possible 
the flow of traffic, and to relieve 
large switching centers where the 
switchboard positions are inadequate 
to handle the tremendously increased 
work load under the conditions that 
exist on Christmas. 

As long as 20 years ago, long-haul 
circuits were re-arranged, and some 
circuits terminating at switching 
offices were "patched" * together 
to provide temporary direct circuits 
and thereby decrease the amount of 
traffic which otherwise would have to 
be handled at the switching offices. 
At first, re-arrangements involved 
primarily the shifting of some of the 

* Two circuits may be "patched" together at 
a test board to become one direct circuit, by 
connecting them with a "patching" or connect- 
ing cord. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Operating forces in toll offices across the country last 
Christmas were increased on the average about yo percent. 
These force clerks in a toll office are preparing assign- 
ments of operators for the day 

transcontinental circuit terminations 
from congested centers to smaller 
offices. As time went on, this activ- 
ity was extended until, in 1940, 60 
percent of the long-haul circuit 
groups were involved in re-arrange- 
ments and some 200 temporary di- 
rect-circuit groups were established 
in order to decrease switching. 

During the war years, however, 
circuit re-arrangements for Christ- 
mas were largely limited to those 
providing all possible facilities for 
training camps, embarkation points, 
and military hospitals, so that the 
men and women in the services could 
talk to their families or sweethearts. 

Following the war, re-arrange- 
ments of circuits for the holiday were 
resumed, and reached an all-time high 

in 1948. The Traffic 
Department circuit con- 
trol bureaus — in New 
York, Chicago, Cleve- 
land, and San Francisco 
— issued orders to es- 
tablish over 900 tem- 
porary direct-circuit 
groups for last Christ- 

Such re-arrangements 
are a very large under- 
taking. An immense 
amount of preparatory 
work has to be done by 
the Long Lines and As- 
sociated Company cir- 
cuit people to deter- 
mine, from studies of 
traffic of the previous 
Christmas, which new 
direct-circuit groups 
would be the most 

The over-all patch- 
ing requirements are 
then worked out among the compan- 
ies involved, and the total number of 
circuits to be removed from normal 
groups in order to make up the tem- 
porary direct groups is determined. 

The various plant testboard groups 
are queried to determine the specific 
circuits and associated facilities to be 
used for the patches. The entire net- 
work is then reviewed to determine 
possibilities for additional circuits for 
the more seriously overloaded groups 
and replacements for the circuits used 
to create temporary direct groups. 

Final circuit plans are then trans- 
mitted to toll line engineers of all the 
Associated Companies, listing the 
new direct groups, the type of traffic 
to be handled, and instructions as to 
any routing changes involved. 


Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices 


And, before Christ- 
mas, a complete check 
is made to see that all 
planned re-arrange- 
ments have actually 
been completed. 

The execution of the 
circuit patches and re- 
arrangements requires 
quite a plant organiza- 
tion job and an in- 
crease of the plant 
forces on duty. Phys- 
ically, it is possible to 
patch any circuit to any 
other circuit. How- 
ever, where different 
types of circuits, termi- 
nal arrangements, and 
signalling facilities are 
in use, extra work is 
required to make such 
circuits work properly 
when patched. In ad- 
dition, amplifying ad- 
justments are required 
in many cases to insure that the two 
parts of the new circuit will work to- 
gether as though they were one. 
Careful coordination in all these 
changes is required among the test 
men at all offices involved. 

Throughout the holiday period, 
special consideration is given to force 
coverage in the traffic circuit control 
bureaus and in the plant test and ter- 
minal rooms, to insure prompt action 
in case of trouble with the equipment. 
Linemen and cablemen are on duty 
where the situation requires, and ar- 
rangements are made so that those 
not on duty may be reached if the 
need arises. Plant administrative of- 
fices are also covered as required. 

It is fortunate that, in recent years, 
there have been no storms of serious 

Use of teletypewriter circuits to advise toll offices of 
delays at an important switching point enables operators 
to give correct information to customers and also leaves 
voice circuits free for talking 

proportions over a wide section of 
the country on Christmas. There 
have been, however, a number of lo- 
calized storm troubles which have 
added to the difficulties of the day. 

Supplemental Operating Positions 
and Other Special Facilities 

In most toll offices, the number 
of switchboard positions installed is 
not sufficient to meet the requirements 
on Christmas, because of the in- 
creased volume of holiday traffic and 
greater work time per call. This is 
particularly true at large switching 
offices. Much development work has 
been done, and local ingenuity exer- 
cised, in an effort to provide "relief" 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


With operating requirements at a peak, 
most toll operators work on Christmas 
day and do so cheerfully, realizing that 
they are making a vital contribution to 
the holiday happiness of the American 
public. They appreciate that a Christ- 
mas message is one of the most impor- 
tant of the year; if calls cannot be com- 
pleted, they are as disappointed as the 
customer. Absence on Christmas is con- 
sistently lower than on an average day, 
showing the additional effort operators 
make to overcome obstacles of all kinds 
in order to be on duty. It is a tribute 
to their spirit of service that many vol- 
unteer to work beyond their normal as- 
signment when the need is indicated. 

short of installing regular positions 
for this one-day peak. 

All possible work auxiliary to the 
actual establishing of connections is 
removed from the switchboards and 
handled on temporary tables equipped 
for this purpose — including recording 
calls from customers and orders for 
circuits from other operators, sorting 
and filing delayed tickets, and giving 
reports to customers about the prog- 
ress of their calls. 

Local dial office switchboards 
which are not heavily loaded on 
Christmas are adapted for handling 
long distance calls. 

Outward toll positions are ar- 
ranged for handling inward and 
through calls, where advantageous, 
to balance the load between boards. 

A number of offices have installed 
arrangements for making posted de- 
lay information available to opera- 
tors promptly by means of distinctive 
tones which are associated with the 
circuit groups involved. 

Special Operating Methods arid 

Over the years, many special oper- 
ating methods have been used in an 
effort to make most efficient use of 
the available facilities. While these 
methods differ in various details, they 
all have the general objective of util- 
izing a higher percentage of the avail- 
able circuit time for conversation by 
reducing the amount of operating 
work that has to be done over the 

One method was the "utility" 
method, whereby a team, consisting 
of a circuit operator and two report 
operators for dealing with customers, 
is used at each end of a circuit group. 
There was also an "operator per cir- 
cuit" method, under which one oper- 
ator is assigned at each office for each 
circuit. Then there was the "con- 
centration" method, where special op- 
erators have control of one circuit 

Under these methods, the same op- 
erators handled outward, inward, and 
through calls. A teletypewriter was 
sometimes used with these methods, 
to reduce further the amount of op- 
erating work done over the telephone 

All of these special methods were 
helpful in obtaining more efficient cir- 
cuit usage; but they did so, necessar- 
ily, at the cost of greatly increased 
requirements in switchboard positions 
and operators. As the number of 
circuit groups over which calls had 
to be handled on a delay basis in- 
creased, it was more and more diffi- 
cult to provide the necessary facilities 
and operators. Also, these methods 
required a very high degree of co- 
ordination and teamwork between the 


Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices 


operators involved at both ends of 
the circuits, and this coordination 
could be obtained only by means of 
intensive training and actual practice. 
In the over-all, it was not found 
practicable to train the number of op- 
erators required in the more compli- 
cated methods for use only on one 
day in the year. 

For these reasons, special-method 
operation has been used in the past 
few years on only a relatively small 
number of the most congested circuit 
groups and has been limited generally 
to the "concentration" method, which 
is the least complicated of the special 
methods and requires the smallest 
number of positions for a given num- 
ber of circuits. 

There are, nevertheless, special 
procedures of a super- 
visory and management 
nature which are used 
to facilitate call han- 
dling and improve com- 
pletion and speed of 
service under the un- 
usual and difficult con- 
ditions at Christmas 
time. Many of these 
special procedures are 
of a technical nature re- 
lating to the application 
of the operating prac- 
tices. Others are more 
general and include 
such features as the fol- 
lowing : 

— providing posted 
delay information to 
selected built-up points 
by means of telet}'pe- 
writer networks be- 
tween toll centers, so 
that operators need not 
go to intermediate of- 

fices on every call to learn of the 

— providing additional ready-ref- 
erence routing material and called- 
place directories to expedite handling 
of calls; 

— cancelling alternate routes which 
would be ineffective in periods of con- 
gestion ; 

— dividing circuit groups direction- 
ally, and rotating the use of some cir- 
cuits among several originating of- 
fices, to facilitate the movement of 

— re-arranging the position layout 
to provide more positions for han- 
dling delayed calls. 

Special precautions are taken to in- 
sure that emergency calls are recog- 
nized and promptly handled. 

''Patching" two circuits together creates a direct circuit 
to by-fass a switching office. Some patches are made at 
Traffic switchboards^ as herCy and others at Plant test- 
boards More than ^o were made last Christmas 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


The attitude and manner of the op- 
erators have a definite effect on cus- 
tomers' opinion of the service when 
calls cannot be handled promptly. 
Particular care is exercised that at- 
tentiveness and courteous considera- 
tion be shown on all calls. When a 
call cannot be completed on Christ- 
mas Day because of a circuit delay, 
the operator is prompt to offer to try 
to complete it the following day. Af- 
ter Christmas, chief operators often 
call or write to express their regret 
to customers whose calls could not 
be completed on the holiday. 

The Operating Force 

Obtaining and training the neces- 
sary people to meet the greatly in- 
creased operating requirements for 
the holiday period is a major prob- 

Adequate forces must be provided 
at all switchboards and temporary 

tables to insure prompt answer to sig- 
nals, to apply the special procedures 
in effect, and to use the available cir- 
cuits efficiently. 

Good answering service is particu- 
larly important at inward, through, 
and delayed-call positions in toll of- 
fices, and at toll switching and infor- 
mation positions in local offices, since 
slow service at these points has a far- 
reaching and cumulative effect on the 
service in other offices. 

The magnitude of the force and 
training task is indicated by the fact 
that operating forces in toll offices 
across the country this past Christ- 
mas were increased on the average 
about 70 percent. 

Estimates of Christmas traffic and 
force requirements have to be made 
sufliciently in advance to insure ade- 
quate time in which to carry out the 
plans for securing additional people, 
completing the required training, and 
installing any additional operating fa- 

This display board in the Long Lines circuit control office in New York gives a visual 
record of the status of all long distance circuits out of the city^ including those temporarily 

''patched" for Christmas traffic 


Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices 


cilities to be provided. Judgment, 
and experience with previous holiday 
conditions, are needed to allow for 
unusual local circumstances and to 
compute separately the force needed 
for each different class of work. 
There Is always the danger of under- 
estimating the force requirements, 
since work time per call Is so much 
higher than under normal conditions. 
In order to provide the required 
number of people, every available 
source must be drawn upon, includ- 
ing, in addition to the regular force, 
former employees, clerical forces, em- 
ployees from local offices, and em- 
ployees borrowed from other depart- 
ments, and still a good deal of 
overtime work Is necessary. 

The advance training for the 
holiday is a big undertaking. It is 
necessary to review with all toll cen- 
tral office people the operating prac- 
tices related to the handling of calls 
under congested circuit conditions, 
which they use only infrequently; to 
retrain many of the force for operat- 
ing at a different type of switchboard; 
and to provide special training for 
those who will be involved in a spe- 
cial-method operation or work at a 
temporary table position. Basic 
training must be given to the large 
number of temporary people who 
have had no previous toll experience. 
All this must be started many weeks 
before Christmas, to cover the entire 
force and to allow time for the prac- 
tice which is needed to develop skill 
and efficiency. 

As Christmas Day draws near, 
telephone buildings take on a festive 
appearance, with Christmas trees and 
decorations skillfully arranged, usu- 
ally by the girls themselves. In build- 

Preparations among the employees for 
Christmas are not exclusively concerned 
with the problem of handling telephone 
traffic — recognition also is given to the 
spirit of the holiday season. Tradition- 
ally thoughtful of others, groups of op- 
erators and other telephone women com- 
bine their efforts to provide a merrier 
Christmas for the unfortunate. Thou- 
sands of dolls are obtained and dressed 
for distribution to underprivileged chil- 
dren; some groups of telephone men and 
women "adopt" needy families and send 
clothing and baskets of food; others send 
gifts to wounded veterans; some spread 
their cheer through churches, institu- 
tions, and charitable groups. 

Ings large enough to have cafeterias, 
attractive and appetizing food awaits 
the employees in plenty, whether their 
needs be a complete Christmas dinner 
or merely a refreshing snack. 

Independent Companies 

The task of completing toll calls 
during the holiday season requires 
the closest cooperation and teamwork 
in all the nation's telephone ex- 
changes. Bell or Independent. There 
are approximately 6000 independ- 
ently-owned telephone companies in 
the country, serving some six million 
telephones.* These companies play 
an important part In moving holiday 
toll traffic, and the service they ren- 
der on interconnecting calls has a 
large bearing on the over-all quality 
of service. Every year, as a part of 
the Christmas planning, meetings and 
discussions are held with the Inde- 
pendent companies to review the sig- 
nificant holiday practices and pro- 

* See "Six Thousand Telephone Companies 
Serve U. S.," Magazine, Winter, 1948-49. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


\Ve let mote 
\wi distance caUs 







i'^'»^J^ !;;"■""'*« to' 



■^f^rcl "•'"* 



""Ml, , 


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//^^r^ tfr^ a/^w examples of how the telephone companies fulfill their obligation to keep 
the public informed about the traffic situation on Christmas Day 


Merry Christmas in the Toll Offices 


Overseas Calling 

There is also a tremendous increase 
in calls to overseas points at Christ- 
mas time. 

The first overseas Christmas call 
took place between the United States 
and England in 1927; from the 44 
Christmas messages handled on a 
single circuit that first year, the vol- 
ume has grown to more than 3400 
messages, reaching out to 80 coun- 
tries. Overseas calls in 1927 were 
handled on three switchboard posi- 
tions in New York; now over 150 
positions and 550 operators are used 
in the four cities where the radio cir- 
cuits are terminated: New York, 
Miami, San Francisco, Seattle. 

Christmas-day calls 
completed number about 
twice those of an aver- 
age business day. In or- 
der to accomplish this, 
many preparations are 
required. An estimate 
is made of the total 
number of calls which 
can be handled in both 
directions over the 
maximum facilities 
which can be provided. 
An agreement is reached 
with' each foreign coun- 
try as to the maximum 
periods during which 
each circuit will be op- 
erated on Christmas. 

Calls are booked at 
each end, in accordance 
with the service sched- 
ules agreed upon and 
the capacity of the cir- 
cuits provided. Circuit 
usage is divided on the 
basis of relative book- 

ings at both ends, and calls are com- 
pleted in the order of booking. 
Ninety percent of the Christmas over- 
seas traffic is booked in advance, and 
in some years booking has com- 
menced as early as the preceding July. 
One of the chief difficulties in com- 
pleting overseas calls lies in the fact 
that only 15 percent of the calls orig- 
inate or terminate at the city where 
the radio circuit is terminated. An 
additional 20 percent involve cities 
reached by direct circuit, leaving 65 
percent originating or terminating in 
cities requiring one or more switches 
on this continent. Thus the circuit 
delays encountered on land traffic also 
handicap the completing of overseas 

Despite the pressure of so many calls ^ the Christmas spirit 
pervades the telephone buildings, and there the operators 
can obtain a turkey dinner — or just a snack during a 
relief period ' 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

hiforming Our Customers 

The telephone companies have 
long recognized that a wide public 
understanding of the toll situation at 
Christmas time is very helpful. 

Use is made of advertising, and 
other media such as bill inserts and 
radio announcements, to inform the 
public in advance of the holiday that 
( I ) toll calling on Christmas Eve and 
Christmas Day is at a peak and those 
who call may encounter delays, (2) 
the telephone companies are stretch- 
ing their facilities to the limit to put 
calls through but no amount of dili- 
gence and effort can prevent some de- 
lays because of the tremendous vol- 
ume of calls on these two days, and 
(3) calls made before December 24 
or after December 25 will avoid the 
rush and get faster service. 

The tolerance and cooperative at- 
titude of customers whose calls are 

delayed indicate that they appreciate 
that the telephone companies are do- 
ing their utmost under difficult con- 

Considering the tremendous in- 
crease in volume and the other un- 
usual characteristics of the traffic, the 
problem of giving the American peo- 
ple good service on their long dis- 
tance calls at Christmas time is one 
of the most difficult ever presented to 
the men and women of the Bell Sys- 
tem. It is being attacked with vigor 
and imagination, and considerable 
progress has already been made. 
Nevertheless, much remains to be ac- 
complished. And all who are con- 
cerned with the problem are continu- 
ing to seek better ways to use the 
available facilities, so that more and 
more people can talk to anyone, any- 
where, at Christmas time. 

Taxes paid by the [Bell System] Telephone Companies in 
1948 amounted to $292,477,000, and Federal excise taxes paid 
by customers and remitted by the Companies to the United 
States Treasury came to $406,000,000 — a total of about 
$700,000,000, or nearly $2 a month for every telephone in 
service. Telephone excise taxes paid by customers are more 
than double the increase in telephone rates since the war. Taxes 
paid by the Telephone Companies and Western Electric ex- 
ceeded the total amount which remained available for interest 
and dividends. 

From the A. T. ^ T. annual report for 1948. 

A Hundred Million Personal Contacts a Year IVith 

Customers Give These Young Women Great Opportunity 

To Ram Good Will for Themselves and Their Companies 

You Can Tell by the Teller 

Arthur F. Leet 

The operating companies of the 
Bell System believe that you can tell 
by the teller the character and spirit 
of the organization she represents. 

The teller is the pleasant young 
woman in the telephone business office 
to whom customers pay their bills; 
and, as in the case of the organization 
itself, she must be accurate and 
prompt in attending to customers. 
But efficiency is not enough. In deal- 
ing with customers there must also be 
courtesy, understanding, a sincere in- 
terest in trying to please, and evi- 
dence of a helpful attitude.' 

The opportunities the teller has to 
demonstrate this spirit of the organ- 
ization are important for two rea- 
sons. First, it is fitting that a cus- 
tomer coming to an office to pay us 
his good money should be made to 
feel that his patronage is appreciated. 
Second, there are about 100,000,000 
contacts a year with customers who 
come to the public offices to pay their 

To make this idea of pleasing serv- 
ice a reality requires special attention 

to selecting for tellers women who 
will be both efficient and qualified to 
do a good customer relations job. It 
also requires giving the tellers proper 
training and providing working con- 
ditions, arrangements, and supervi- 
sion to carry forward the idea. The 
results have been gratifying. This 
concept of the tellers' responsibilities 
makes the job more interesting to 
them. The response of the public in- 
dicates appreciation. It does not take 
any more time to be courteous and 
try to please customers, experience 
shows, than it does to be indifferent. 

The company selects for public- 
office teller positions personable 
young women who are alert and ac- 
curate, with quick minds, poise, ready 
smiles and good voices, and with the 
ability to express themselves. Prefer- 
ably they should show promise of ad- 
vancing to even better jobs. These 
tellers usually are chosen from women 
who have been trained and have had 
at least several weeks' experience in 
handling payments received by mail. 
They are, therefore, proficient in 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


The teller personifies the character and spirit of the organization she represents 


You Can Tell by the Teller 


many clerical operations which they 
will perform on their new jobs as 
public office tellers. 

Training and Supervision 

Before beginning to work as public- 
office teller, each candidate receives 
three to five days' classroom instruc- 
tion. While most of the training 
concerns the principles of the job, 
much of it consists of practicing the 
handling of payments at a "dummy" 
payment counter, with the instructor 
acting the part of the customer. Con- 
tinuously during this training, special 
emphasis is given to the customer re- 
lations aspects of the job, along with 
the procedures for the proper han- 
dling of money and the associated rec- 
ord work. In teaching, the instruc- 
tors use a written manual covering 
theory and details of practice cases. 
Very effective use is made of a Bell 
System motion picture entitled "You 
Can Tell By The Teller." This 
movie, which shows customers paying 
their bills at a business office, illus- 
trates the value of the customer re- 
lations aspects of the job as well as 
efficient clerical procedures. 

Tellers are taught to greet the cus- 
tomer with a friendly smile and a 
cheerful "Good morning," "How are 
you?" or other appropriate saluta- 
tion; to use their "Paid" stamp 
quietly; to avoid giving customers an 
unwanted bulk of change and to 
count out the change into the cus- 
tomer's hand; to notice the name on 
the bill and thank the customer by 
name if the name appears to be his. 

Of course, the tellers' training also 
includes clerical proficiency. They 
are taught proper methods and hand 
motions, and how to recognize im- 

mediately the various types of stand- 
ard United States paper money and 
coins and what to do if some one 
presents to them what appears to be 
non-standard money. Effective use 
is made here of the well-known mo- 
tion picture "Doubtful Dollars," 
which shows how to distinguish be- 
tween good and bad money. 

The student is coached until she 
is ready to meet her public. Then 
she is assigned to a position at the 
payment counter in a public office to 
receive actual payments from cus- 
tomers. The instructor stays at her 
side as long as necessary to dev*elop 
her proficiency in all aspects of her 
new job. Then and only then does 
the instructor deliver her protege to 
the supervisor who will guide and 
coach the new teller in her daily 

It is a part of the job of supervis- 
ory people to maintain the interest 
of their forces and inculcate a pride 
of accomplishment in the way their 
people do their jobs — from the 
standpoint of both efficiency and 
"overtones." So strongly is this idea 
ingrained that many supervisory offi- 
cials, when visiting business offices, 
have developed a habit of always 
making a sample count of the number 
of contacts a teller has and seeing on 
how many she smiles and puts the 
change in the customer's hand. The 
tellers are kept informed of the im- 
pressions of supervisory people re- 
garding their work and of the com- 
ments of customers. 

Office Quarters and Equipment 

The Associated Companies further 
promote good payment service by 
seeing that the offices where people 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Before her assignment as a public-office teller, each 
candidate receives three to five days' classroom instruc- 
tion. Much of it comes at a ''dummy'' payment counter, 
with an instructor playing customer 

come to pay their bills are convenient 
for customers and employees and are 
well designed and appropriately fur- 
nished and decorated. This in- 
volves, first, care in establishing and 
equipping offices, taking into consid- 
eration such matters as population 
growth, location of shopping centers, 
and transportation; and, second, 
good taste in office design, selection 
of furnishings, and decorative treat- 

The companies also try to plan 
layouts, arrangements, and construc- 
tion details to keep the offices quiet. 
Tellers' cages with grills or un- 
sightly barriers between the tellers 
and customers generally have been 
replaced with open payment count- 

ers or desks. Over the 
years, many changes in 
the design of payment 
counters have been in- 
corporated to make 
them still more con- 
venient for customers 
and tellers. The 
changes included a 
more convenient height 
of counter; reduced 
width of the counter, 
making it easier for 
tellers to pick up bills 
and money and to pay 
out change into the 
customer's hand; and 
improved ventilation at 
tellers' positions. Tell- 
ers are equipped with 
foot stools and com- 
fortable "posture-type" 
chairs. All these things 
are done to assure good 
working conditions and 
give the tellers the 

proper tools to make their jobs easy 

and attractive. 

What the Public Thinks 

"This story sounds fine," some peo- 
ple might say; "but is the kind of 
service described here actually being 
given in the business offices — and 
does it pay off?" 

In answer to the first question — 
all of the Associated Companies rec- 
ognize the importance of good over- 
tones as well as good techniques in 
handling public-office payments, and 
the ideas and training procedures 
here described have spread fast 
among them. As regards the sec- 
ond question — sincerely trying to 
please customers has brought Its re- 


You Can Tell by the Teller 


ward through apprecia- 
tive comments from 
many. Here are a few 
samples : 

A customer in an 
Eastern city wrote to 
the telephone company: 
"I want to compliment 
you and your courteous 
employees. It was a 
real joy to be spoken 
to and dealt with so 
politely. I am sure 
there are many who 
agree with me and in- 
deed you have much to 
be proud of." 

A lady called a Mid- 
western business office 
to ask, "Where does 
your company get the 
lovely girls for cash- 
iers? They are such 
nice girls, as well as 
efficient. I certainly 
think your company 
uses good judgment in selecting these 
girls. I just want the girls and the 
management to know it." 

A vice president of a Midwestern 
advertising agency said, "I am al- 
ways impressed with the personal 
and courteous service rendered by 
the telephone company in this busi- 
ness office. Your charming girls 
make it a pleasure for me to pay my 
bill. I like the way they greet me 
with a smiling 'Hello,' take my bill 
and money and tell me it is $4.58 out 
of $10 and then give me my change 
with a 'Thank you, Mr. Davis.' 
That kind of service is so far su- 
perior to anything I have seen that I 
cannot leave without telling you how 
I feel." 

Tellers are trained to count the change^ aloud^ into the 
customer s handy so that he can verify the accuracy of the 
amount and be free to leave with his money in his hand 

A man approached a supervisor in 
a Western business office and said, 
"When I got up this morning I 
thought it was going to be a bad day 
for me and I thought it would be a 
good day to pay my telephone bill. 
But when I got to the cashier's 
counter, she greeted me with 'Good 
morning' and a smile. After giv- 
ing me my receipt and change, she 
thanked me by name. I wanted you 
to know about it, because I feel it 
will change my entire day for me." 

The sales manager of a packing 
house was so pleased at the payment 
service he received when he paid his 
bill that he suggested to men at his 
table at a Chamber of Commerce 
banquet that they should visit the 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

Modern payment counters are both convenient for the transaction of business 
and attractive in appearance 

telephone company business office and 
study the tellers' methods. 

Other customers have said such 
things as: "We don't mind paying 
when we get such a pleasant smile" ; 
"My but the service here is marve- 
lous" ; "I always like to pay my phone 
bill — you girls have such a delightful 

What the Tellers Think 

Many tellers have voluntarily made 
to their supervisors comments which 
indicate that tellers enjoy real pride 
of accomplishment in their customer 
relations and find the work of han- 
dling payments pleasant and inter- 
esting. For example : 

A teller in an Eastern office re- 
marked, "I now have a swell time 
walking out to lunch because it seems 
as if everybody on the street speaks 
to me." 

Another teller in a Midwestern 
city commented on her discovery that 
a pleasant voice and a smile caused a 
similar reaction in the people whom 

she greeted; and said that to her 
amazement, when she tried it out on 
her friends, it worked as well as it 
did in the office. 

In one office, a customer walked 
away from the counter with a big 
smile on his face, and the teller said 
to the other girls in the group, 
"That's why I like my job: I smile, 
the customer smiles — why we might 
get all the people in town smiling." 

Experience in this work of receiv- 
ing payments affords another demon- 
stration that in many different types 
of activity there are real opportuni- 
ties to contribute to good service and 
good customer relations, even though 
these opportunities may not be self- 
evident at first sight. Receiving a 
payment seemingly is a minor opera- 
tion which takes, on the average, 
only 22 seconds. But the number of 
payments is so large that in total the 
person-to-person contacts with cus- 
tomers are an important factor in 
satisfactory customer relations. 

From 2J^OOO Suppliers Come the Raw Materials and the 

Stocks of JOyOOO Different Items Needed for Operation and 

Maintenance of the Bell System 

Purchasing b}^ the Western 
Electric Company 

George deMare 

This is the fifth in a series of articles describing the Western Electric 
Company's operations and its place in the Bell System organization. 
See in the Magazine the following: "Nassau: The Bell System's 
Conservation Specialist," Winter ig46—47; "Distribution by Western 
Electric Company," Autumn 1947; "How Western Electric Serves 
Telephone Users," Autumn 194S; "Installation by Western Electric 
Company," Winter 1948-49. — Editor. 

As THE manufacturing and supply 
unit of the Bell System, the Western 
Electric Company plans and executes 
one of the largest and most complex 
procurement programs in industry. 

The Bell System's intricate and 
delicately balanced $8,500,000,000 
plant requires year-in and year-out 
sustenance in the form of raw mate- 
rials of all types, from steel to acid 
soda, from aluminum to mercury, 
from molybdenum to zinc, to be con- 
verted by Western into plant equip- 
ment; and it also requires accessory 
finished products from other suppli- 
ers that range from paper clips to 
hea\T trucks, from moisture-resistant 
silk to porcelain knobs, from light 
bulbs to nylon yarns — some 30,000 
different items. 

The responsibility for procuring 
this raw material and these finished 
items falls mainly upon Western Elec- 
tric, and more particularly upon 
Western Electric's Purchasing Divi- 
sion. The logical and successful pro- 
gram by which Western has largely 
undertaken purchasing operations for 
the Associated Companies is based on 
the inherent advantages and savings 
of scientific centralized purchasing. 
The story of this scientific centralized 
purchasing operation for the System's 
23 Associated Companies is, in the 
main, a story of impressive economies 
together with assured high standard 
of quality and dependability of supply 
of the items procured — advantages 
which for several decades and partic- 
ularly during times of emergency and 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


war have been demonstrated again 
and again. 

The instrument which lies at the 
foundation of this centralized pur- 
chasing operation is the Standard 
Supply Contract which each of the 23 
Bell telephone companies has entered 
into with Western Electric. This 
contract requires Western Electric to 
do everything it reasonably can to 
supply the Bell telephone companies 
with whatever they may want, when 
they want it; but it does not bind the 
telephone companies to purchase ex- 
clusively from or through Western 
Electric. The fact that the telephone 
companies look to Western for such a 
large proportion of their material 
needs is evidence that they find it ad- 
vantageous to do so. 

Some of the advantages of this sys- 
tem may become even more apparent 
by considering what the cost of pur- 

On this circular file at one of Western Electric' s Works 

are the names and addresses of thousands of suppliers 

from whom Westerrfs Purchasing men buy 

chasing operations would be if there 
were no Western Electric purchasing 
and distributing units for the Asso- 
ciated Companies. Each telephone 
company or group of companies 
would then have to maintain its own 
purchasing and stores organizations 
and be obliged to purchase in smaller 
quantities. The cost to each company 
of maintaining its own purchasing and 
stores organization would obviously 
greatly increase the cost of procuring 
and distributing the materials. It 
was such a situation, in fact, which 
brought about the present program of 
centralized purchasing by Western 
for the whole System. 

A Billion Dollars' Worth oj 

The magnitude of this job under 
ordinary circumstances is quite appar- 
ent, but in a time of expansion it be- 
comes truly impressive. 
Since V-J Day, West- 
ern's Purchasing people 
have spent more than 
$1,000,000,000 in buy- 
ing raw materials and 
supplies for the Bell 
System from 27,000 
firms in more than 
2,600 cities and towns 
throughout the 48 
States as well as in sev- 
eral foreign countries. 

These purchasing op- 
erations fall naturally 
into two major cate- 
gories : first, procure- 
ment of raw materials, 
machinery, and supplies 
for use by the Company 
itself in manufacturing 
the equipment it pro- 
duces for the Bell Sys- 


Purchasing by the Western Electric Company 


tem; and, second, the 
procurement of finished 
items which Western 
does not manufacture 
but which it is called 
upon to supply to the 
telephone companies to 
fill their varied needs. 
Last year alone. West- 
ern's Bell System pur- 
chases — both raw ma- 
terials and finished 
products — totaled ap- 
proximately half a bil- 
lion dollars. 

To purchase these 
raw materials and the 
thousands of items em- 
braced in the classes of 
finished products re- 
quires more than just 
going to the corner 
store and giving an order. West- 
ern is committed to make every rea- 
sonable effort to supply what the Bell 
System wants when it wants it at 
the lowest price consistent with qual- 
ity and service. This means that 
three factors must be considered: 
(i) finding and developing reliable 
sources of supply; (2) setting up 
standards of quality and insuring that 
the quality of the materials purchased 
meets those standards; and (3) get- 
ting the best price obtainable under 
the circumstances for the product. 

Finding Reliable Sources of Supply 

Finding and developing reliable 
sources of supply is one of Western 
Electric Purchasing Division's main 
jobs. And it is a complex one. Pur- 
chasing specialists travel by plane, 
train, bus, and automobile as many as 
100,000 miles a year to secure needed 

When Western Electric goes shopping for the thousands of 

items the Bell System useSy it does so in orderly fashion 

by means of contracts such as this 

materials and supplies for the Bell 
System. One Western Electric buyer 
made a single trip of 7,000 miles 
through the Northwest and Mountain 
States areas to secure additional 
lodgepole pine telephone poles, 
while another traveled throughout 
the south in search of additional 
southern pine poles, and still another 
cruised the locust-tree country from 
Virginia to the Mississippi to dis- 
cover new sources of supply for locust 
insulator pins. 

Developing reliable sources of 
supply often requires special effort 
and ingenuity. 

Take the case of zinc. Zinc was 
one of the raw materials so urgently 
needed during the recent expansion 
in Western's telephone instrument, 
strand, and pole-line hardware pro- 
grams, to help the Bell System meet 
the backed-up demand for telephone 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


In a typical post-war year, the W. E. 
Purchasing group bought millions of 
dollars' worth of raw materials from 
suppliers in the United States and all 
over the world, including about 90,000 
tons of steel, more than 100,000 tons of 
copper, more than 100,000 tons of lead, 
7,000 tons of cable paper, 6,500 tons of 
wood pulp for cable insulation, 7,000,- 
000 pounds of cotton yarn, and 2,000,- 
000 pounds of acetate rayon yarn. 

service. Zinc is chiefly used in West- 
ern's manufacturing operations for 
die casting, galvanizing, and in the 
brass mills at Hawthorne Works. 
When these programs were ex- 
panded, Western required almost 
double the amount of zinc ordinarily 
needed. And this came at a time 
when one-fourth of the zinc industry 
was shut down by labor disputes and 
zinc was at the height of its demand. 

By intensive negotiations, West- 
ern's purchasing men not only broad- 
ened their domestic sources but also 
managed to secure supplies of the 
metal from the Hudson Bay region 
and British Columbia, to borrow 
from a commercial die caster while 
supplies were being developed, and 
to ease the brass situation in the 
Hawthorne Works by purchasing 
300,000 pounds of scrap brass cart- 
ridge shells. 

In addition, by arranging for sup- 
pliers to hold impurities below their 
normal maximum limits, substitutions 
of more plentiful grades were made 
for the scarce grades on which West- 
ern was previously dependent. 

Western's purchasing specialists, 
accustomed to meeting such situa- 
tions, took this one in their stride as 
almost a routine assignment. 

In the case of many finished items, 

however, it is sometimes necessary to 
assist suppliers in one way or another 
to enable them to meet Western's re- 
quirements. For example, in order 
to interest printers in making the 
large expenditures required for addi- 
tional equipment needed in publishing 
the ever-growing Bell System tele- 
phone directories, Western found it 
necessary to negotiate long-term con- 
tracts with certain of its printing con- 
tractors covering periods up to ten 
years. Three such contracts were re- 
cently made involving a total of $1,- 
250,000 in new equipment, plus 
$500,000 in new buildings. These 
arrangements insured a shortened de- 
livery period for telephone direc- 
tories, and gave the telephone com- 
panies better directories at a lower 
cost per thousand printed pages. 

Another case involved the produc- 
tion of steel wire. It appeared that, 
owing to the steel shortage, Western 
might fail by 25 per cent to meet the 
Bell System's requirements for one 
recent year. Western's established 
suppliers had excess wire drawing fa- 
cilities, but were unable to obtain rod 
from the rolling mills — which in turn 
were unable to obtain billets. To 
solve this problem. Western pur- 
chased 9,000 tons of special billets 
from one mill, had them converted 
into rod by another, and had the rod 
delivered to the suppliers who had 
extra facilities for drawing it into 
wire. This was a costly procedure; 
but it gave the telephone companies 
desperately needed wire not other- 
wise obtainable, and enabled them to 
expedite telephone service to thou- 
sands of new subscribers. 

Still another instance indicates once 
more the advantages of having a cen- 

Purchasing by the Western Electric Company 


tralized purchasing unit capable of 
making unusual arrangements to se- 
cure vital raw materials. In one year 
the Bell System expansion program 
required up to 50,000,000 duct feet 
of clay conduit. This exceeded the 
productive capacity of the four plants 
producing clay conduit after V-J Day. 
It was thus necessary for Western to 
assist, in financing the rehabilitation 
of three plants which had been shut 
down for many years, to have another 
plant completely rebuilt, and to in- 
crease manufacturing facilities in ex- 
isting plants. 

These are a few of many examples 
which demonstrate the unusual efforts 
which Western must make to keep 
the world's greatest communications 
system supplied with sufficient mater- 
ials for its efficient functioning — ef- 
forts which it would be difficult for a 
number of smaller competing pur- 
chasing units to match. 


Maintaining Bell System Sta?idards 

Having found and developed sup- 
pliers capable of producing the ma- 
terials in sufficient quantities. West- 
ern must concern itself with the qual- 
ity of the products. 

To insure the high quality required 
by the Bell System, specifications for 
most items are prepared by A. T. & 
T., Western Electric, or Bell Labo- 
ratories engineers, and these specifica- 
tions may indicate not only the stand- 
ards considered essential for each 
item but frequently even the method 
of manufacturing it. In the case of 
such items as lead sleeving, telephone 
poles, directory paper, and galva- 
nized steel strand, for example, the 
quality must often be unusual. Stand- 
ards of durability, weight, thickness 
and, in the case of paper, bursting or 
tearing strength as well as other qual- 
ifications must conform to precise tol- 
erances in order to meet the heavy 

From factories such as this^ Western Electric obtains raw and finished plastic materials 
in dozens of forms for making telephone products 



Bell Telephone Magazine 


duty that will be imposed upon the 

These standards are carefully in- 
sured by Western's Supplies Inspec- 
tion organization, which has 165 in- 
spectors throughout 35 states in over 
350 towns and cities in the country 
inspecting items for Bell System use. 
Such items as timber products, pole 
line hardware, power plants, and 
over 4,000 others must pass the tests 
given them by Western's Telephone 
Division supplies inspection group be- 
fore they are delivered to the Asso- 
ciated Companies. 

Such exacting requirements are 
usually included as specifications in 
the contracts entered into between 
Western Electric and its suppliers. 

Best Obtai7iable Price 

Purchasing for the Bell System at 
the lowest obtainable price, with due 

regard for service and quality, is of 
course a primary and ever present ob- 
jective. To secure the lowest price, 
Western's purchasing men must be 
conversant with the fundamental fac- 
tors that control cost movements. 
They must know the costs of raw ma- 
terials, labor, and overhead necessary 
to produce the material and still al- 
low the supplier a reasonable profit. 
They must also know the relation- 
ships between supply and demand. 
Favorable prices are then secured in 
the main by buying in large quantities, 
consummating purchases under fa- 
vorable market conditions, and ne- 
gotiating contracts which are fair to 
the supplier as well as to Western. 
Perhaps a clearer picture of the 
operations involved in purchasing for 
the Bell System may be presented by 
following a typical purchasing opera- 
tion from estimated requirements to 

This is one step in the process of producing copper in a refinery. It is then cast into 
bars before being purchased by the Western Electric Company 


Purchasing by the Western Electric Company 


Through conferences with the tele- 
phone companies, Western's Distrib- 
uting Houses gather estimates for 
materials expected to be needed for a 
year ahead. In addition to the an- 
nual estimates, the telephone com- 
panies furnish Western with quarterly 
forecasts of anticipated requirements 
for certain major items. These fore- 
casts, covering the immediate future, 
are reconciled by the Distributing 
Houses as necessary because of their 
stock conditions and past experience. 
They are then forwarded to the Pro- 
gram Planning Department of West- 
ern's Telephone Division, which uses 
them as a basis for determining the 
quantities of material currently re- 
quired to be manufactured or pur- 
chased, long before any actual orders 
are received from telephone com- 

After these forecasts have been 
carefully analyzed they are converted 
into "authorizations to purchase" is- 
sued to the Purchasing Division. 

It is then the responsibility of the 
Purchasing Division to determine the 
best method for making these pur- 
chases and meeting these require- 
ments. Shall it be a single contract 
for the entire quantity over a speci- 
fied period? Shall the quantity be 
divided between two or more sup- 
pliers? Shall the contract period be 
long or short? Who shall be asked 
to bid and on what basis? 

Take an item like inked ribbons. 
Western purchases well over $100,- 
000 worth of inked ribbons a year 
for the Bell System. They are used 
for typewriters, tabulating machines, 
adding machines, etc. Excluding all 
insufficiently established or inexperi- 
enced companies, there are some 41 

In an average year, Western's Pur- 
chasing people comb the Nation for the 
thousands of finished products essential 
to the Bell System's proper functioning. 
These include such items as thousands of 
motor vehicles, 124,000,000 pounds of 
telephone directory paper, 750,000 tele- 
phone poles, 1,125,000 crossarms, 35,- 
000,000 feet of clay conduit, 31,000,000 
pounds of steel line wire, 140,000,000 
feet of steel strand, and 36,000,000 
pounds of pole-line hardvv^are — as w^ell as 
abrasives, building materials, ceramics, 
chemicals, fuels, office supplies, paints 
and varnishes, textiles, tools, wearing 
apparel, leather products, furniture, 
and hospital, laboratory, and restaurant 

suppliers of inked ribbons having suf- 
ficient production capacity. Careful 
study of these suppliers by purchas- 
ing experts reduced the list to 10. 

Now came the work of soliciting 
bids for the different varieties of 
inked ribbons to be covered by con- 
tracts, each with its individual price. 
Finally, when the bids came in, com- 
parisons had to be made with the re- 
sults of laboratory tests for each type 
of ribbons and also to see whether 
saving could be effected by dividing 
the business among different suppli- 
ers. The business was then split be- 
tween two sources which were capable 
of meeting the requirements as to 
quality and at the most economical 

Or take an item like floor wax. 
The Bell System's bill for floor wax 
is some $200,000 per year. But that 
is not all. More important than the 
original cost is the maintenance cost 
and the possible damage to linoleum 
floors, if the wax is inferior. The 
cost of linoleum in use in the Bell 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Steel from factories like this enters into the manufacture 
of various items of telephone equipment 

System exceeds $10,000,000. A. T. 
& T. has figures to show that the 
maintenance cost of linoleum is some 
$3,500,000 per year. The figures 
also show that improvements in wax 
developed by Bell System engineers 
over a period of 15 years and now 
specified in suppliers' contracts have 
saved the System some $1,000,000 
per year in reduced maintenance costs. 
It can thus be seen that the original 
cost was not the only or the most im- 
portant factor in this purchase but 
that, as in many other similar in- 
stances, years of cooperative effort 
between the supply specialists of A. 
T. & T., Western Electric's purchas- 
ing specialists, and the suppliers were 
required to evolve the present stand- 
ards and produce current results. 

Finally, let us take 
an item designed espe- 
cially for Bell System 
use, requiring special 
tools and techniques. 
Such an item would be 
the truck bodies for 

There are a number 
of important different 
body designs for Bell 
System trucks. These 
range from the small 
installation truck, with 
its specially designed 
body with drawers and 
compartments for in- 
stallers' equipment 
mounted on a half-ton 
chassis, to the big con- 
st ruction trucks 
mounted on 2- to 5- 
ton chassis which are 
equipped to pull line 
wire, dig pole holes, 
and perform other op- 
erations. These truck bodies are not 
easy to manufacture, and suppliers 
who can produce them in strict ac- 
cordance with A. T. & T. specifica- 
tions, and at the same time produce 
them economically, are difficult to 
find. This is particularly so when 
the demand is heavy and old-line sup- 
pliers have more orders than they 
can handle, with the result that new 
suppliers must be developed. To se- 
cure such bodies with the present steel 
shortage. Western entered into 
agreements with three suppliers to 
produce aluminum bodies. 

These examples illustrate some- 
thing of the complexity of purchasing 
for a delicately balanced and highly 
intricate nation-wide telephone sys- 


Purchasing by the Western Electric Company 


The Purchasing 

The 600 people of the 
Purchasing Division 
who perform this major 
task are organized Into 
four groups. 

They are : ( i ) the 
group responsible for 
the procurement of raw 
materials and supplies 
used in Western's manu- 
facturing plants, such 
as copper, lead, steel, 
brass, lumber, machin- 
ery, apparatus, tools 
and equipment; (2) 
the group responsible 
for Bell System outside 
plant materials, includ- 
ing such items as tele- 
phone poles, crossarms, 
insulators, clay conduit, 
motor vehicles, and 
tools; (3) the group 
responsible for the procurement of 
Bell System inside plant material, 
covering such Items as paper, printed 
matter, office and janitors' supplies; 
and (4) the group responsible for 
recommendation of procedures for 
coordinating purchasing activities, 
supervision of clerical methods, and 
studies of markets and material costs. 

Reporting to each purchasing agent 
within each group are the assistant 
purchasing agents responsible for the 
work of the buyers under their super- 
vision. Each assistant purchasing 
agent, with his group of buyers, is ex- 
perienced in handling a particular 
group of related or analogous prod- 
ucts, such as automotive equipment, 
which includes items like trucks, pas- 
senger cars, gasoline, batteries, lubri- 

These logs are on the way to become telephone poles. 
Western purchased more than y^Ofioo poles in 1948 

cants, tires and tubes; or building 
equipment, which Includes such items 
as fans, paints, and commercial re- 
frigerating equipment; or the ceram- 
ics group, with such items as clay con- 
duit, insulators, porcelain tubes, and 

But efficient purchasing requires 
that the men not only know their ma- 
terials, suppliers, and markets, but 
that they understand and be familiar 
with local markets also. And for 
that they must be on the spot — at the 
Works, at the 28 Distributing 
Houses, and in the field. 

For this reason, purchasing units 
are stationed at each of Western's 
manufacturing plants to buy for their 
respective locations, while local buy- 
ers are also maintained at the Distril)- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

uting Houses. Each local buyer is 
actually a member of the Distributing 
House organization at which he is 
stationed, and his duties are to assist 
in the proper placement of orders on 
contract suppliers, to purchase miscel- 
laneous non-contract material, and to 
represent the Purchasing Division in 
the field by giving information on lo- 
cal conditions and potential sources of 

The purchasing activities of all dis- 
tributing houses except those on the 
Pacific Coast are coordinated by the 
headquarters supervisor of Distribut- 
ing House buying. In addition, there 
is a Pacific Coast purchasing agent 
who acts as a general representative 
of the Purchasing Division and assists 
the Distributing House managers in 
that area with their local buying 
problems. He also negotiates cer- 
tain contracts for such materials as 
are required from coast suppliers and 

coordinates his activities through a 
headquarters purchasing agent. 

These purchasing men know their 
markets, know their materials, know 
their suppliers. They understand 
their suppliers' problems and by their 
knowledge, ingenuity, and skill have 
through war and emergencies not 
only uncovered many reliable and val- 
uable sources of materials and sup- 
plies for the System but also helped 
Western's suppliers meet the Bell 
System's requirements. 

Thus, year after year Western's 
purchasing job means keeping open 
hundreds of raw material and main- 
tenance supply lines to the System it- 
self. From thousands of cities and 
towns, from 27,000 suppliers — a 
cross section of American industry — 
Western's Purchasing men continue 
to gather the tens of thousands of 
items needed in the maintenance and 
operation of the Bell System. 

Index Now Available 

An index to Volume XXVII (1948) of the Bell Tele- 
phone Magazine may be obtained without charge upon re- 
quest to the Information Department of the American Tele- 
phone and Telegraph Co., 195 Broadway, New York 7, N. Y. 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the 

Bell Telephone Quarterly 

Items from Volume III, Number 2, April 1924 

The Meaning of Research 
To the Telephone Investor 

In forecasting problems and supplying 
their answers, the development and re- 
search staff functions as a reconnaissance 
agency which thoroughly investigates the 
future, keeping the operating and service 
branches of the telephone army which are 
to follow supplied with exact information 
as to the technical and industrial terrain 
over which they will pass. In this way 
the objectives of the future can be planned 
and attained with much greater facility 
and economy than would otherwise be pos- 

Research helps to give not only better 
service at a reduced cost to those who use 
the telephone but also increases the variety 
of services offered. It is important, there- 
fore, not only to the executives of the Sys- 
tem but to the telephone user because if as- 
sures him the best service our knowledge 
of natural laws makes possible. It fur- 
thermore safeguards the investor and as- 
sures him that those spending his money 
have the broadest view of what science 
holds in store and that, as new" discoveries 
are made, they will be woven into the 
plant, which his money has built, with the 
maximum of efficiency and economy and 
in such a way as to yield the best returns. 

There are several methods of depicting 
a corporation's business and financial stand- 
ing. One of these, and perhaps the one 
most usually appealed to, is the balance 
sheet. But the balance sheet tells of the 
past while research forecasts the future; 
and the Bell System, while proud of its 
balance sheet, faces the problems and op- 
portunities of the future with the largest 

research and development staff in the world, 
with a successful record of achievement 
behind it. 

— From an article by R. W. 

King and G. C. Southworth. 

Southern Trans- 
continental Line 

The new Southern Transcontinental 
Line — a through route from Denver to 
Los Angeles by way of El Paso, Tucson, 
and Phoenix — was placed in service on 
the afternoon of December 22, 1923 and 
a Chicago-Los Angeles circuit connected 
up just in time to carry its share of the 
heavy holiday traffic to and from the south- 
western section of the United States. 

This circuit . . . 2937 miles in length, 
is the longest through circuit in the world. 
It is more than 500 miles longer than the 
Chicago-San Francisco circuit, more than 
1200 miles longer than the New York- 
Havana circuit, and more than 1 500 miles 
longer than the New York-New Orleans 
circuit. The longest known through cir- 
cuits in any country of Europe, from Berlin 
to Essen, 342 miles, and from London to 
Glasgow, 418 miles, do not compare with 
it in length. 

The engineering and construction of 
these long circuits was a notew^orthy 
achievement. For a greater part of the 
circuit the wires were run on existing pole 
lines, but two long stretches of entirely 
new poles were required, one covering 
seventy-five miles between Denver and 
Colorado Springs and the second, about 
ninety miles in length, between San An- 
tonio and Rincon. 

Among the most serious of the problems 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


encountered, from the construction stand- 
point, was the difficulty of transporting the 
large amount of materials required. The 
varied topographical and climatic conditions 
met with in the course of the work may 
be understood when it is remembered that 
at one point — Raton Pass, near the Colo- 
rado-New Mexico border — the altitude is 
7,600 feet ; while at another — near Salton, 

just over the California boundary fromi 
Arizona — the line dips into a depression 2001 
feet below sea level. In building the line,! 
the telephone construction trucks had toi 
make their way over mountain roads, des-i 
ert sands, lava beds, cactus country andi 
arid lands reclaimed by irrigation. 

— From Notes on Recent 

Who's Who & What's What 

(Continued from page 3) 

moved to the group handling toll service 
results and central office training ; and in 
1945 he became Traffic Results Engineer. 
In June 1949 he was transferred to the 
Commercial division as Sales and Servic- 
ing Engineer. 

Joining the Bell Telephone Company of 
Pennsylvania at Pittsburgh in 1923, 
Arthur F. Leet transferred two years 
later to the Commercial Results section of 
the O. & E. Department of A. T. & T. 
There his work has included the develop- 
ment of coin telephone collection procedures, 
analysis of business office results, and esti- 
mates of Commercial expenses. At present 
he is engaged in the improvement of bill 
forms and billing procedures, of business 
office methods in connection with custom- 
ers' payments, and in the safeguarding of 

Seven years as associate editor of Collier's 
Magazine are reflected in George de 
Mare's organization of the article on the 
Western Electric Company as purchasing 
agent for the Bell System and his exposition 
of how the Company executes that complex 
function. Leaving Collier's in 1943, he 
joined the Public Relations division of 
Western Electric, and is at present man- 
aging editor of JVE, Western Electric's 
new quarterly publication. 

With the Pacific Telephone and Tele- 

graph Company since 1924, Wheeler F. 
ScHALL has spent the ensuing quarter cen- 
tury in publicity, information, and advertis- 
ing activities in the Information Depart- 
ment — except for four years in the business 
offices of the Commercial Department. He; 
is now staff supervisor in the Company's! 
Northern California and Nevada Area in- 
formation office, and writes of the passing, 
of San Francisco's most famous central 
office with all the familiarity of an "Old' 
China Hand." 

Last winter's storms are long since past, 
but their severity was so extreme as to take 
JuDSON S. Bradley on a brief trip into 
Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas 
to observe their effect upon telephone serv- 
ice. In Omaha he was able to learn from 
Gen. Lewis A. Pick, director of "Operation 
Snowbound," and from Mr. Donald 
Stout, assistant manager of the Red Cross 
Mid-western area, something of the part 
which the telephone played in their wide- 
spread rescue operations. In the sleet area 
to the southward, he had opportunity to ob- 
serve the progress of service restoration and 
to talk not only with the men from many 
states who were rebuilding the lines but 
with others who were directing operations. 
Joining the Information Department of the 
Southern New England Telephone Com- 
pany in 1925, after several years of edi- 
torial and publishing experience, he trans- 
ferred five years later to the corresponding 
department of the A. T. & T., where he 
has been for the past six years editor of 
this Magazine. 

Only Chinese Telephone Central Office outside of China 

Yields to Progress as Switchboard Is Removed and Unique 

Building Becomes Business Office 

San Francisco's Chinatown 
"Goes Dial" 

IVheeler F. Schall 

San Francisco's picturesque China- 
town telephone central office, estab- 
lished in 1894, and the only Chinese 
telephone office outside of China 
itself, has "gone dial." 

At an early hour on January 22, 
1949, the final cutover of all tele- 
phones in Chinatown to dial opera- 
tion was accomplished by the Pacific 
Telephone and Telegraph Company, 
without incident or public ceremony. 
The telephones of 700 subscribers 
had previously been changed to dial 
service in November 1948. The 
second cutover, involving an addi- 
tional 1,400 subscribers, completed 
the conversion project, and old 
CHina 5 officially became YUkon 2. 

While to many San Franciscans 
the change marked the end of an 
interesting chapter in local his- 
tory, Chinatown's 12,000 inhabitants 
looked on the transition as another 
milestone in the Americanization of 
their colony. Despite their deep 
regard for tradition, San Francisco's 

Chinese are forward-looking citi- 
zens, keenly interested in civic prog- 
ress and advancement of Western 

Switchboards are being removed 
from the pagoda-roofed telephone 
building at 743 Washington Street, 
and its ornate interior will be con- 
verted to business-office purposes. 
Equipment for Chinatown's new dial 
service is housed in the company's 
main operating building on nearby 
Bush Street. The Chinese opera- 
tors have been offered work oppor- 
tunities in other central offices. 

The history of the China exchange 
requires a flashback to the begin- 
nings of Chinatown, on a foggy 
morning in February 1849, when the 
sailing vessel Eagle, back from a 
cruise in Far Eastern waters, dropped 
anchor in San Francisco Bay at the 
foot of Clay Street. The Eagle 
carried in her hold a cargo of tea and 
silk — and three Chinese : two men 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


and a woman. This trio had heard 
in Canton of the discovery of gold 
in Gum Shan, or Gold Mountain, 
as the Chinese called America. They 
had come to San Francisco to ac- 
quire a fortune of a few hundred 
dollars each. After that they would 
return to China to live out their lives 
in comfort, die in state, and be buried 
among their ancestors with ceremony 
befitting Chinese of high social rank. 
These three persons were the first 
Chinese immigrants to set foot in 
San Francisco — or in California, 
for that matter. Strangers in a 
strange land, forlorn and disconso- 
late, they trudged off the wharf 
under the weight of their bundled 
possessions and slowly climbed the 
muddy trail which led to the Plaza. 
Here they attracted a lot of atten- 

tion with their oriental dress and 

As trading vessels carried the news 
of the gold rush around the world, 
it was not long before the "cousins" 
of these Chinese pioneers began to 
arrive in increasing numbers. In- 
coming ships brought at first a few, 
then a score, and by the end of 1850 
they were arriving in droves. Cali- 
fornia needed the manpower, and 
the Chinese were not only welcomed 
but were urged to induce their coun- 
trymen to come. By 1852, the 
Chinese male population of Cali- 
fornia was estimated at 22,000. 

A majority of these immigrants 
went directly to the gold fields. 
There they were not so kindly re- 
ceived as in San Francisco. They 
worked long hours, found profit in 

The Chinatown central office in San Francisco which was removed from traffic service 
early this year. The golden dragons sprawled against a rose background near the roo/y 
and the elaborate gilded wood carvings^ have been retained as the building is converted 
to business-office use. At the desk in the center of the picture sits Loo Yee Kern^ China- 
town manager. Behind him to his left are R. f. fVood, traffic chiefs and Florence 

ChoWy then chief operator 


San Francisco's Chinatown ''Goes DiaP* 


The operating room oj the Chwatown central office which was destroyed in the fire of igo6. 
In the foreground stands Loo Kum Shee^ first manager and father of Loo Yee Kern 

"diggings" which the white miners 
had abandoned as worthless, and 
lived frugally, hiding most of their 
earnings away for the great day of 
return to China. 

In the meantime, a minority of 
Chinese, mainly merchants and deal- 
ers in coolie labor, remained in San 
Francisco. These were the found- 
ers of the settlement in the heart of 
the city which eventually became 
known as "Chinatown." 

* * Invisible Spirits' ' 

The Chinese were quick to adopt 
American machines and inventions 
— except one. The exception to the 
rule was located on Bush Street near 
the southern end of Chinatown, in a 
telephone office. There, by the early 
'eighties, one could go and talk to in- 
visible spirits of persons far away — 
even as far as Sacramento. Now, 
the Chinese were not afraid of most 
machines, because they could see 
how they worked. But talking to a 

little black box on the wall and hav- 
ing it talk back, sometimes in a for- 
eign tongue, was surely the work of 
evil spirits, and they would have 
none of it. 

However, one by one, the bolder 
merchants and labor contractors 
ventured to use the public telephone 
in the Bush Street telephone office. 
With no bad luck befalling them, 
they repeated the experience until 
superstition gradually disappeared 
and the telephone became a factor 
in the daily business activities of 
Chinatown's business men. It was 
several years, however, before it was 
accepted in the Chinese home for 
social use. 

Most of the early Chinese tele- 
phone business was conducted over 
long distance lines. Practically all 
of the calls were placed from points 
outside of San Francisco by farm- 
ers having produce to sell, and by 
persons seeking Chinese laborers. 
These calls would come into the Bush 
Street office of the telephone com- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Switchboard and operators of the Chinatown central office in igoi. Chinese men 
continued to serve as operators until igo^-o^ 

pany with the request to have a par- 
ticular Chinese merchant or labor 
contractor in Chinatown called to the 

The company maintained a corps 
of messenger boys to hunt up Chinese 
wanted on the telephone. Finding 
the right person in a settlement of 
some 20,000 was no easy chore, but 
the boys gradually learned to know 
their customers' names and favorite 
haunts. If the person wanted was 
not found in his usual place of busi- 
ness, the messenger would track him 
down and send him to the Bush Street 
office to answer his waiting call. 

A Chinese customer seldom liked 
to go to the telephone office alone. 
When summoned for a call, he would 
round up a coterie of his country- 
men to go along — placing his faith 
in the safety of numbers, even 
against the designs of evil spirits. 
Thus they would come in such num- 
bers, many perhaps out of curiosity, 
that before long the office became a 
sort of community house. 

Eventually, a public telephone was 
installed at a more convenient loca- 
tion, in the office of the Chinese 
newspaper Mun Kee. This was 
sometime prior to 1891 — the exact 
date is not known. Thereafter, all 
Chinese telephone business was trans- 
acted there. 

As the Chinese became more fa- 
miliar with the telephone, they real- 
ized its value in business and began 
to ask for service in their stores and 
offices. In 1894, a small switch- 
board was installed in a building at 
the corner of Washington and Du- 
pont streets. (Dupont was later 
renamed Grant Avenue.) This ex- 
change served 37 telephones in 
Chinatown, but was not connected 
to the San Francisco system. 

The Chinese became increasingly 
enthusiastic about telephone service, 
and applications mounted steadily. 
Soon it became necessary to provide 
a new switchboard and expand cen- 
tral-office facilities. The new instal- 
lation was placed in service in 1898, 
with 200 business stations connected. 


San Francisco's Chinatown "Goes Dial* 


This was the first Chinatown cen- 
tral office to be connected with the 
i Pacific Telephone and Telegraph 
Company system serving the rest of 
San Francisco, and provided exclu- 
sively for the use of the Chinese. 
A Chinese manager was placed in 
charge. He solicited subscribers, 
kept accounts, collected bills, and 
hired and paid his own operators. 
Subscribers talked exclusively in Chi- 
nese. This custom gave San Fran- 
cisco the unique distinction of having 
the only telephone office in the world 
conducted in an alien tongue. 

The First Manager 

Chinatown's first telephone man- 
ager was Loo Kum Shu, a native 
Californian, born near Marysville in 
1864. His grandfather was among 
the first Chinese immigrants to land 
in California, arriving soon after 
gold was discovered by Marshall at 
Sutter's Mill. Loo Kum Shu's 
father was employed by the Pacific 

Mail Steamship Company until, on 
an ill-fated voyage, he was lost at sea. 

Loo Kum Shu, then eight years 
old, was placed in the home of Mrs. 
Florence Bokee, an American mis- 
sionary, who taught him to speak 
English and raised him as her own 
son. He received his elementary 
education in the Chinese Mission 
School, at Jackson and Dupont 
streets, where Mrs. Bokee was a 
teacher. He continued his schooling 
at the University of California, where 
he was graduated. 

Loo Kum Shu managed the China- 
town telephone exchange for 28 
years. The office early became one 
of the show places of San Francisco, 
and welcomed thousands of visitors 
from all parts of the world. A 
genial host, Loo Kum Shu made 
many friends, and became one of the 
best-known, best-liked citizens of the 
community. He died December 8, 
1926, at the age of 62. His funeral 
was one of the largest ever held in 

This group of Chinatown operators represents a total of i/f/ years of service 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


An operator at the Chinatown central office switchboard 

Chinatown. The service, a quaint, 
age-old ceremony, was held in the 
open air in historic Portsmouth 

Offices Old and New 

The Chinatown telephone office 
remained at the corner of Washing- 
ton and Dupont streets until 1902. 
In that year the company purchased 
a building at 743 Washington Street, 
and remodeled the interior especially 
to accommodate an exchange which 
would be unique in every respect and 
worthy to become a showplace of 
San Francisco. 

The switchboard was ebony-fin- 
ished, and above it two golden 
dragons sprawled against a rose back- 
ground. The ceiling was softly 
tinted and richly embellished with 
gilded wood carvings of intricate de- 

sign and exquisite work- 
manship. Walls were 
done in black lacquer 
trimmed with red and 
gold. By night the of- 
fice was illuminated 
with huge Chinese lan- 
terns, the most elab- 
orate to be found in all 
Chinatown. By day it 
drowsed in the soft 
mellow light that fil- 
tered through quaint 
oyster-shell windows. 
And from the depths 
of a richly tapestried 
shrine near the en- 
trance, a Chinese god 
kept watch over the af- 
fairs of the little office. 
This ornate exchange 
was destroyed in the 
great San Francisco fire 
of 1906. Nothing was saved but a 
part of the underground plant. The 
ruins had not yet ceased to smoulder 
when plans were under way for ^a 
new telephone system for Chinatown, 
complete with a central office, larger 
and better than the one destroyed. 

The company erected its new Chi- 
nese central-office building on the site 
of the one razed by the fire, and in- 
stalled an eight-position switchboard 
of the latest design. The new office 
was placed in service in August 1909, 
with approximately 800 telephones 
connected. This office served China- 
town continuously under manual 
operation until the system was con- 
verted to dial. 

The new China office was con- 
structed along true oriental lines to 
harmonize with its surroundings, al- 
though the interior was not as ornate 


San Francisco's Chinatown "Goes Dial" 


as that of its predeces- 
sor. It was unique, 
nevertheless, and re- 
mained a showplace of 
San Francisco, welcom- 
ing thousands of visi- 
tors every year. 


Most of the 25 Chi- 
nese operators who 
worked in the central 
office followed tele- 
phone work as a family 
tradition. Employment 
there gave a mark of 
standing in the commu- 
nity, and, as such, was 
passed from parent to 
child. In fact, several 
of the operators were 
daughters and grand- 
daughters of men operators who 
handled calls in the old China ex- 
change of 50 years ago. Mothers 
who operated the switchboard saw to 
it that their daughters were properly 
trained and educated for the work. 
Each was made an accomplished 
linguist, who spoke not only impec- 
cable English but also five Cantonese 
dialects : the Som Yup, Heong San, 
Gow Gong, Say Yup, and Aw Duck. 
Calls to China telephone subscrib- 
ers were made in the usual way from 
San Francisco telephones. How- 
ever, some of the old-time subscribers 
persisted in asking to speak to Lin 
Yung or Ah Wong without giv- 
ing the telephone number. Conse- 
quently, a new operator spent a part 
of her first three weeks' training 
studying the names, addresses, and 
telephone numbers of some 2500 

A service representative accepts a customer s payment 

subscribers listed in the China tele- 
phone directory. Within a few 
weeks the new operator was usually 
able to recognize the party wanted, 
whether asked for in English or in 
Chinese. Little wonder, with serv- 
ice like that, the practice of calling 
by name instead of telephone number 
continued to the last! 

Choy Chan was one of the first 
women operators to replace the men 
who originally staffed China office. 
As a girl, she was a messenger whose 
duty it was to summon Chinese cus- 
tomers to the telephone to answer 
long distance calls. When Choy 
Chan's father, Chan Yung Lai, one 
of the first men operators, retired, 
she took his place at the switchboard. 
As late as 1901, in the days of the 
Manchu Dynasty, Chan wore a 
queue which he wound in a coil 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


around his head to keep it from 
tangling with the switchboard keys. 
With the creation of the Manchurian 
Republic, queues of the Westernized 
Chinese were doffed. Today, the 
granddaughters of Chang Yung 
Lai's contemporaries sit at their 
switchboards wearing up-to-date 
dress and hair styles like other 
American girls. 

Chinatown's unique telephone di- 
rectory might be called America's 
only "hand-painted" directory, since 
all names, addresses, and numbers 
were lettered by hand in Chinese 
characters. The China directory 
was set up by street addresses rather 
than alphabetically, because the Chi- 
nese language has no A-Z alphabet 

The first Chinatown central office switch- 
board of the Pacific Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company, which handled 50 lines. 
This picture, taken about i8g5, shows 
Suey Sing Ching, operator; Chan Yung 
Lai, standing; and the latter s son, Albert 
Bew Chan, ready to summon a customer 
to receive a long distance call 

as we know it. Approximately 2800 
of these books, which were exclu- 
sively for Chinatown users, were de- 
livered. For other San Francisco 
telephone users, the Chinese names 
and numbers are printed in English 
in the regular city telephone direc- 

The lettering of the Chinese direc- 
tory was done by a young Chinese, 
and required about two weeks to 
complete. The finished pages were 
then made into engravings ready for 
the regular American printing proc- 
ess. The expert letterer used a thick 
sepia ink called "mock" taken from 
the ink bag of a cuttlefish caught 
in the ocean near Monterey. Pur- 
chased in dried pieces and ground in 
a mortar, the ink was mixed with 
water and poured over a sponge 
which served as an inkwell. The 
letterer used a small brush called 

Telephoning in Chinatow?i 

Telephone habits of the Chinese 
are quite different from those of 
other San Franciscans, since they keep 
their shops open until late at night 
and sleep most of the morning. The 
peak calling hour of the day comes 
from 3 to 4 P.M., when numerous 
social conversations are carried on. 
A secondary peak calling hour is 
from 1 1 A.M. to noon, when China- 
town's late risers begin to stir and 
start the day's business. These call- 
ing habits make an interesting con- 
trast with the peak hours for San 
Franciscans in general, which are 
from 9 to II A.M., 4 to 5 P.M., and 
6 to 8 P.M. 

Life in Chinatown is full of activ- 
ity. Chinese operas occupy the at- 
tention of many from 7 to 12 every 


San Francisco's Chinatown *'Goes DiaP* 


evening. Immediately after the 
opera, it is the custom to return home 
and telephone for food and refresh- 
ments. Chinese telephone users fre- 
quently retire at midnight when, sit- 
ting up in bed, they call up friends 
for lengthy conversations. China 
exchange operators were not sur- 
prised to find calls continuing from 
midnight until four or five o'clock in 
the morning. Chinese women, like 
their American sisters, often market 
by telephone, and excel in making 
innumerable calls to bargain for the 
lowest possible prices. This tele- 
phone bargaining, of course, makes 
for a high number of calls per day. 

Tong wars used to make life inter- 
esting for the telephone operators in 
the old days. When such a conflict 
arose, every member of the staff was 
subject to immediate call to duty. 
The echo of the first shot had scarcely 
died before every position on the 
switchboard was filled. This would 
be none too soon, for the telephone 
calling rate soon shot up fantastically 
as the Chinatown populace rushed to 
warn relatives. As tong wars were 
always scheduled to start at the same 
time in all cities, there would be a 
deluge of long distance calls to China- 
towns through the United States. 
These, and the local calls, far ex- 
ceeded the capacity of the boards and 
the ordinary daily calling rate of 
10,000. Delays piled up while 
anxious relatives pleaded and the 
operators, queues bobbing, worked 
at top speed. Quite a contrast to the 
peaceful Chinatown of today. 

Quong Lee, a Chinese merchant in 
the heart of the oriental colony, was 
among the first 150 subscribers on 
the Pacific Coast, and the first Chi- 
nese telephone subscriber in the 

Exterior of the former China 5 central 
office in San Francisco 

world. His name appears in the ini- 
tial San Francisco telephone directory 
dated June i, 1878, and his grandson 
is still a subscriber with the same 
name in the same location. 

Loo Yee Kern, son of the original 
manager Loo Kum Shu, is the pres- 
ent manager of the China telephone 
exchange. Kern took his first tele- 
phone job at the age of eight, when 
he and his brother distributed Chi- 
nese telephone directories in a little 
pushcart which they wheeled all over 
Chinatown's 14 blocks. He learned 
to operate the switchboard at the age 
of 13. Florence Chow, his sister, was 
the chief operator. 

And even though the telephone 
traflSc of the Chinese no longer has 
its crossroads at 743 Washington 
Street, the little pagoda-roofed "doll 
house" still beckons to visitors, 
proud of its part in San Francisco's 
colorful Chinatown. 

Freakish Weather^ Bringing B/izzards in the North and 

Sleet further South^ Tests the Bell System s Telephone Plant 

and Its Recuperative Powers 

The Winter's Toll Was Heavy 
From Texas to the Dakotas 

Judson S. Bradley 

Nature laid a heavy hand last win- 
ter on much of our country's central 
West, from the Canadian border al- 
most to the Gulf. Extending from 
the Rocky Mountains across the high 
plains to the middle of Nebraska, the 
blizzards were the severest within 
the memory of man. Further south, 
a series of sleet storms cut a wide 
swath across Texas, Oklahoma, Ar- 
kansas, Kansas and Missouri to cre- 
ate one of the major service disasters 
of Bell System history. And while 
that is by no means a roster of all the 
weather that occurred — as Southern 
California, for example, can testify — 
it was upon the territories of the 
Northwestern, the Mountain States, 
and the Southwestern Bell Tele- 
phone Companies that the major and 
most extensive storms fell. 

The winter's storms are here 
spoken of collectively, which may be 
misleading. For not only were they 
different in calendar and geography, 

but they were different in kind and 
hence in effect. And it is a bit of a 
paradox that in the north, where 
day after day of dry snow driven 
by bitter winds brought damage, 
suffering, and death in a vast area, 
telephone plant stood up well and 
telephone service was a carrier of 
important tidings and a bringer of 
needed help; while further to the 
south the ice and sleet caused nothing 
much more serious than inconven- 
ience to the people in the affected ter- 
ritory and yet laid low telephone 
plant which it is costing about $io,- 
000,000 to restore. 

Spring follows even the toughest 
winter, and all repairs were made 
and service was fully restored long 
since — thanks to the Bell System's 
nation-wide resources and the flexi- 
bility of its organization. But a 
good many people are going to think 
and talk for years to come of the 
Blizzard of '49 as old-timers do of 

JVinter^s Toll from Texas to the Dakotas 


Traffic on U. S. Highway jo was completely blocked^ but traffic over the voice highways 

beside the road flowed freely 

the Blizzard of '88; and others fur- The gravity of the situation in the 

ther to the south will for years to northern Plains States, and the heroic 

come make only half-jocular refer- measures required to meet it, at- 

ences to the Ice Age of 1949. tracted wide attention when, at the 

This picture was taken from in front of the Northwestern BeWs business office on the 

main street in Chadron^ Neb. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


There is no hill here. These two North- 
western Bell traffic people are standing in 
front of a snowdrift on level ground 

end of January, General Lewis A. 
Pick, Corps of Engineers, U. S. 
Army, was assigned to take charge 
of "Operations Snowbound" — a res- 
cue operation on the grand scale in 
territory comprising 177,000 square 
miles. General Pick, then Missouri 
River division engineer, was builder 
of the Ledo Road from India into 
China during World War II, and is 
now Chief of the Corps, with head- 
quarters in Washington. 

But the storms had a long head- 

The first one had hit the territory 
of the Northwestern Bell toward the 
end of last November, and was fol- 
lowed by others early in December 
and after Christmas. They did more 
than a million dollars of damage to 
telephone plant; but they were "nor- 

mal" winter occurrences and could 
be— and were — coped with. 

January brought the real trouble. 
Swept in on mile-a-minute gales, snow 
swirled and piled up and swirled again 
over the countryside almost continu- 
ously for a month. Record-keepers 
identify the storms of January 3—6 
and January 22—23 ^'^d January 
27—28; but the wind seldom stopped 
its mad dance with whirling snow for 
partner, and the plains for hundreds 
of miles were overwhelmed. Most 
of January was, in effect, one continu- 
ous blizzard. 

The consequences were disastrous. 
In parts of Nebraska, North and 
South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colo- 

To clear a case of trouble here, this 
binationman had to dig down to the 
on top of 20-foot poles 



PVinter^s Toll from Texas to the Dakotas 


rado, mobility all but 
ceased. Highways, 
roads, farm lanes were 
impassable. People 
in cars and trucks fled 
them and found shel- 
ter — or missed it and 
perished. Trains 
were blocked for days 
on end. Cattle froze 
or starved by the 
thousands. Not only 
farm homes and 
ranches were isolated 
and imperiled, but 
whole communities. 
Often a thread of 
wire — a telephone line — was the only 
source of comfort and reassurance, 
the only link with aid or rescue. 

By and large, the telephone held 
up against wind and snow. "The 
telephone was our life line," said a 
Nebraska rancher. 

The telephone served in two major 
ways. In hundreds upon hundreds 
of individual instances, it brought 

Stretcher case. Men of the Fifth Armyy the Red Cross y 

and the State Patrol cooperated to bring this patient to 

safety with an Army "weasel" 

These men of the Mountain States Telephone and Tele- 
graph Company^ and others not pictured^ used their 
''snow buggy" to save several lives in the Cheyenne^ 
Wyo.y area 

help — food or medicine or evacu- 
ation or just a snow-ploughing bull- 
dozer — to people whom winter had 
immobilized. And — the other half 
of the picture — the telephone di- 
rected not only the responses to such 
appeals but the large-scale operations 
of local and state authorities, the 
Army, the Red Cross. 

The scene is large and the details 
are many. There is 
no full record, for ex- 
ample, of the number 
of babies who were 
born in hospitals be- 
cause the telephone 
summoned a weasel 
(light tractor-mounted 
Army truck) or ski- 
mounted plane to get 
the mother there 
ahead of the stork; 
nor of the babies who 
were born "by tele- 
phone" so to speak — 
with the guidance and 
encouragement of the 
doctor's voice coming 
over the wire — be- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


cause no vehicle could get through. 
Three neighboring towns, all snow- 
bound, had no doctor, so the Red 
Cross stationed one at a point central 
to all three, where a telephone sum- 
mons could bring him air-borne to a 
patient's bedside. Just about every 
individual rescue — and there were 
thousands — whether by Red Cross, 
the Army, a community group, or a 
telephone man in a heavy construction 
truck, came as the consequence of a 
telephone call. 

The primary mission of General 
Pick's "Operation Snowbound" was 
to open roads in an area bigger than 
all New England and a couple of 
other states too. His forces un- 
blocked more than 115,000 miles of 
roads, and thereby gave many fami- 
lies access to food, fuel, cattle feed, 
and other necessities. His headquar- 
ters were established in Omaha, and 

two main field offices were opened in 
Nebraska, two in South Dakota, and 
one in Wyoming. These were sup- 
plemented by more than 30 smaller 
offices throughout the territory. 
Thousands of men and hundreds of 
pieces of heavy equipment were lo- 
cated — most of them by telephone — 
and dispatched with all possible 
speed, and the telephone played its 
vital part in bringing reports and 
conveying directives throughout the 
vast area. 

Said General Pick, "Operation 
Snowbound relied constantly upon 
the telephone and other speedy 
means of communication. Without 
the telephone and the fine coopera- 
tion of telephone people and switch- 
board operators, our task would have 
been much less speedily accomplished 
and relief longer delayed." 

"Operation Snowbound'': the general Headquarters office in Omaha 


Winter s Toll from Texas to the Dakotas 


Flying Doctor. A telephone call to the Red Cross brought him to a patienCs bedside by 
helicopter or by plane equipped with skis 

The primary mission of the Red 
Cross took up where the Army left 
off. It was to meet all basic human 
needs of an emergency nature : food, 
fuel, medicine, evacuation of the eld- 
erly and ill and injured. So close was 
the coordination between the two that 
Mr. Donald Stout, Assistant Man- 
ager of the Red Cross Mid-western 
area, set up his headquarters in the 
same Omaha building with General 
Pick and his staff, and consultation 
was frequent and effective. 

While the scope of the disaster 
called for the assistance of national 
Red Cross representatives and na- 
tional funds, most of the work was 
performed by Red Cross local chap- 
ter volunteers. Canteens fed block- 
aded travelers, 348 air force and pri- 
vate planes flew Innumerable mis- 
sions of mercy, 644 persons were 

evacuated by air arid others by vari- 
ous types of land vehicles. 

The telephone, said Mr. Stout, 
"was invaluable in practically every- 
thing we did. By telephone we were 
able to dispatch directives quickly, to 
route our planes and personnel, order 
relief supplies, make surveys. . . ." 

Many a telephone operator, hav- 
ing reached the central office against 
a snowy blast, could not venture 
home again for days, and stayed 
either at a nearby hotel or on a cot 
in the telephone building until the 
fury of the storm abated. In some 
places they could get out for meals, 
elsewhere food was sent in, and in 
still other places where the traffic 
load was heav>% snowbound Plant 
and Commercial men cooked meals in 
the Traflic kitchenettes and even did 
"KP" afterward. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 



No traffic moves on this Missouri highway because the glistening ice on its surface is 
three inches thick and quite unnavigable 

Operation Snowbound 
The Score 

115,138 miles of road cleared in four 

243,780 marooned people reached by 
road clearance operations. 

4,010,000 head of livestock provided 
with access to feed. 

i>559 reconnaissance trips made by 
air and ground vehicles. 

14,565 Red Cross services provided 
by air and ground vehicles. 

876 ill and aged persons evacu- 
ated, two-thirds by air. 

11,130 families aided through Red 
Cross services. 

17,419 meals served in Red Cross 

Telephone men took on extra duty 
in getting operators to and from 
work in company cars and heavy 
trucks; and in Colorado and Wyo- 
ming, men of the Mountain States 
Company, which has specially 
equipped snowmobiles for traveling 
off the roads, responded to urgent 
summons and saved the lives of sev- 
eral men, women and children. 

One operator spoke for all these 
blizzard-beleaguered telephone peo- 
ple when, after battling her way to 
the central office, she said, "Sure it 
was tough getting down here. But 
if there is any romance in the tele- 
phone business, it is in times like 
these when everyone is trying to 
make a call of some kind and you 
never know how much that particu- 
lar conversation will mean to the 


Winter s Toll from Texas to the Dakotas 


fFhat the sleet did to this Dallas-St. Louis line near the Texas-Oklahoma border is 
typical of the destruction over a wide area 

Farther to the south, Kansas and 
Oklahoma had likewise been plagued 
by November storms. They were 
just curtain-raisers, however, for 
what the New Year brought. 

What it brought was storms in se- 
ries ; wind, rain, floods, sleet — mostly 
sleet. For the last three weeks of 
January, a good part of the territory 
of the Southwestern 
Bell Telephone Com- 
pany was subject to a 
succession of sleet 
storms which added up 
to the costliest and 
most extensive catas- 
trophe in that com- 
pany's experience. 
From the western 
border of Texas in a 
wide band to the north- 
and eastward for 1500 
miles, clear to the up- 
per edge of Missouri, 

and including a large share of Okla- 
homa and corners of Kansas and Ar- 
kansas, trees went down, poles went 
down, wires went down. 

Before the sleet of the January 10 
assault had melted, forces were ral- 
lied to the pressing task of restora- 
tion. But it was a Sisyphean under- 
taking; for a crew which rebuilt and 

Some icicles were as much as six inches long 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


restrung an open-wire pole line and and power lines suffered too. The 
left it firm and secure might be called stoppage of light and heat and 
back a few days later to pick it up power brought floods of emergency 
out of the road where it had been telephone calls, yet many could not 
flung by a second crushing load of be completed over broken wires. 
ice. In some places such heartbreak- Emergency generators were pressed 
ing occurrence actually happened into use, operators in scores of cen- 
three times in a row before the tral ofllices worked by candlelight, 
storms left off bedeviling that part of and in some places they had to resort 
the world. to hand ringers. More than one 

By that time, the score for South- chief operator looks back on that 
western Bell, and for the Long Lines combination of heavy calling and 
Department of A. T. & T., which of limited facilities as the most trying 
course operates through the same ter- period of her career. 
ritory, was staggering. Of the for- 
mer's outside plant alone, 24,000 tele- 
phone poles were down, 36,000 cross- 
arms were broken. There were more 
than 200,000 breaks in toll wire 
alone, 53,000 telephones were dead. 
Some 200 communities were isolated 
and 4800 long distance circuits were 
knocked out. 

It was not only telephone poles 
and wires that fell. Electric light 

This chicken house provided shelter for one half of a pair of portable radio telephone 
units which gave temporary service between Eldon and fefferson City^ Mo. 


Winter s Toll from Texas to the Dakotas 


The great needs were, 
of course, two: mate- 
rials — supplies and 
equipment — to replace 
what was destroyed or 
useless; and men, to 
build the materials 
bacic into the plant and 
restore the service. 
Both were forthcoming 
— fast. 

All Southwestern 
Bell's own crews were 
summoned and assigned 
to storm repair, natu- 
rally. But because the 
Bell System operates as 
just one unit when exi- 
gencies require, help 
came from neighboring 
Associated Companies 
not so storm-stricken — 
Illinois Bell, Southern 
Bell, Mountain States 
Tel. & Tel. And Long 
Lines sent in crews 
from 1 8 states. To see 
telephone trucks from Florida and 
Colorado and Pennsylvania and 
Michigan and many another state all 
concentrated on the one task, and to 
know that the men can work effi- 
ciently, no matter where their home 
base, because methods and materials 
are the same everywhere, is to get 
some concept of what the Bell Sys- 
tem is and what its single aim means 
for the nation's telephone service. 

So the outside crews came a-run- 
ning. They were most welcome, and 
preparations had been made to wel- 
come them. For men need places to 
sleep and food to eat; and when 
many men suddenly descend upon 
sparsely settled areas, with commu- 

Me7ty trucks, and supplies combine to bring about this 
swift restoration near Durante Okla. 

nities small and perhaps many miles 
apart, they pose a problem to which 
an answer must be found with no 

Southwestern Bell plant men found 
many answers. They practically 
took over such hotels and motor 
courts as met the need. They ob- 
tained rooms in private homes, they 
found temporary accommodations in 
Veterans' Hospital, National Guard 
Armory, school dormitory, other un- 
usual quarters. Many a hotel chef 
got up earlier, many a dining-room 
proprietor called in more waitresses, 
many a lunch-room operator doubled 
and tripled his orders for supplies to 
care for the appetite of the new- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Temporary restoration near Abilene ^ Tex.: 

a broken pole reset to get the toll lead back 

into service 

comers. But all were housed and 
fed, so that they could and did go at 
their tasks with energy. 

Soon after the sleet-fall, in some 
places the ice under foot was a haz- 
ard. At times the trucks could not 
be used because they could not be 
controlled on the sheer glaze, and 
when men attempted to walk or to 
carry materials they could scarcely 
stand and could make no forward 

On some days chilly rain fell. The 
men were clad against it, but it was 
disagreeable, and as they worked they 
prayed that it would not freeze. 

The greatest villain — after the 
sleet — was mud : sticky, heavy 
gumbo, the kind that won't come off. 
Even four-wheel-drive trucks with 

chains on all four wheels bogged 
down, and when a driver gave full 
power to wheels that the mud 
gripped fast, an axle was likely to 
snap. More than one crew, loaded 
with crossarms or wire or hardware, 
had to walk miles through mud which 
grew heavier with every step because 
no truck could negotiate the mire 
which halted direct access to the line. 

The point is, of course, that de- 
spite many handicaps the men got to 
where they were needed. Once 
there, they pitched right in, and by 
virtue of long days, expert skill, and 
capable direction, got the job done. 
The circuits were quickly back on an 
emergency basis, while more perma- 
nent restoration followed where 

Even before the wires could be put 
back. Bell System emergency radio 
telephone equipment brought stop- 
gap service to break many towns' 
isolation. To supplement South- 
western Bell's three two-way sets, 
others were quickly obtained from 
the Wisconsin, Illinois, Mountain 
States, and Southern Bell companies, 
and Long Lines, and between the 
middle of January and early Febru- 
ary almost 1300 toll calls were han- 
dled by these portable sets. Over 
one of them the average was 100 
calls a day for four days. 

Urgent as was the need for resto- 
ration, safety of every man was the 
first consideration. Falls and power 
lines were the big hazards, and 
against these the Plant Department 
took special precautions. Standing 
poles, no matter how firm they 
seemed, were pike-tested before men 
climbed them; and lines were pre- 
checked for contact with dangerous 


IVinters Toll from Texas to the Dakotas 


power lines before the men were per- 
mitted a near approach. 

Cooperation between telephone 
men and power company men was 
cordial and effective. The foremen 
gave priority to power company dis- 
patching circuits, so that the power 
companies could send emergency 
crews to repair dangerous line 
breaks, and those crews made it their 
first business to free telephone wires 
of "power crosses." 

Even as telephone men poured in 
from more than a score of states lo 
meet the crisis, so did telephone sup- 
plies — thanks to the scope, the or- 
ganization, and the emergency ex- 
perience of the Western Electric 
Company, the manufacturing and 
supply unit of the Bell System. 

As the extent of the damage in 
Southwestern Bell territory became 
apparent, Western Electric went into 
action, following the pattern which 
experience has proved so effective in 
Bell System emergencies over a pe- 
riod of many years. Emergency or- 

ganizations, set up before the win- 
ter storm season commenced, were 
alerted. Within hours of the first 
damage reports, badly needed sup- 
plies were rolling into the storm 
areas by plane, truck, and train. 

Key personnel of Western's Dis- 
tributing Houses, Merchandise and 
Supplies Service organizations, and 
Traffic Division remained on the 
alert 24 hours a day, seven days a 
week, to expedite shipments of mate- 
rials. The demands for supplies to 
restore service presented the severest 
test of Western Electric's emergency 
resources since the New England hur- 
ricane of 1938. From January 12 
until storm requirements were ful- 
filled, shipments of copper line wire 
alone amounted to 2,100,000 pounds. 
Among other items delivered in very 
large quantities during this period 
were 9,800,000 feet of drop wire, 
241,000 pounds of copper tie wire, 
108,000 pounds of steel line wire, 
720,000 feet of strand, 1,771,000 
copper tie splints, 1,469,000 sleeves, 

Texas mud greatly complicated the progress of restoration 

No Wonder We Won a War 

Durant, Oklahoma 
February i, IQ4Q 

The Telephone Hour 
N. B. C, Radio City 
New York, N. Y. 

To Whom It Will Be of Most Interest: 

This is the right time to tell the Bell 
Telephone Company some of the nice 
things we know about them. 

Last week we were without a tele- 
phone, due to the ice-storm that envel- 
oped this district, a continuation of one 
that developed in west and north Texas 
early in January. Unless one witnessed 
it, it is impossible to believe! The tops 
of tall trees lay on the ground, under 
tons of sheet-ice — the telephone and elec- 
tric lines were as large around as a man's 
forearm and of course were eventually 
a mass of tangled wreckage. For sixty 
hours the noise of falling wires and tim- 
ber was like a barrage in battle — in fact, 
one facetious fellow's last call before his 
phone went out, was to the newspaper 
and the single word "T-i-m-b-e-r !" 
Our telephone went out Tuesday — by 
Saturday hundreds of men from this and 
surrounding states — telephone crews — 
were working feverishly to restore serv- 
ice. In the block behind my home it 
took hours to beat the ice off the fallen 
wires, put up new poles and cross-beams. 

I did not see one man (and I had a 
good observation post) hesitate or waste 
time in this work of restoration — altho 
the temperature stood for hours at 3 
degrees to 10 degrees above zero. 
Those men climbed the poles and 
worked as if it were a pleasure — singing 
and joking and laughing — not a gripe! 

At dark last night when I could no 
longer see, two men were still on top of 
a telephone pole just back of my house. 
I don't know if they "observe hours" — 
but service was certainly the first objec- 
tive with them, I can assure you! (No 
wonder we won a war.) 

When night came we tuned in to "The 
Telephone Hours" as we always do — I 
hoped some reference would be made to 
the loyalty and efforts of these men (but 
we are so small and so far away from 
Radio City) but I was not disappointed, 
only the half was not told : Nor could it 
be! Like this reference I must make to 
a youngster, not more than twenty years 
old, I'm sure, who lifted and attached 
our personal service wire. The pole 
with the saw on it was heavy, a heavy 
limb was across the wire and the long 
line was heavy and the boy cold — so — 
he lost control of the pole and it fell, 
striking him across the face and head, 
staggering him, and knocking his cap to 
the ground. I felt like saying a bad 
word for him, as he didn't, but without 
hesitation he grasped that instrument 
again with an air of "I'll show you who 
is boss," and finished his job. Then 
when he came in to check my 'phone, he 
observed that my cord was worn so he 
volunteered "I'm going to report your 
cord in bad condition and you'll get a 
new one soon." (Just that extra ounce 
of service.) 

Yes, your program and music is won- 
derful and your organization a miracle 
but a miracle brought about by the loy- 
alty and interest of men like that boy — 
Thank you for both. 


Mrs. W. C. Riddle 


Winter s Toll from Texas to the Dakotas 


81,700 crossarms, and over 15,000 

All told, a total of 52 different 
classes of items were shipped from 
Western Electric Distributing 
Houses, factories, and suppliers in 
72 cities and towns in 24 states and 
delivered to the Southwestern Bell 
Telephone Company at point of 
need. Despite the magnitude of this 
emergency job, there was no sacrifice 
of quality in the materials supplied. 
Western Electric supplies inspectors 
saw to it that the same high stand- 
ards were maintained in the emer- 
gency shipments that apply in every- 
day operation. 

Focal points for the distribution of 

these large quantities of materials to 
the affected areas were Western Elec- 
tric's St. Louis Distributing House 
and the Houses located at Dallas, 
Kansas City, and Houston. Supplies 
were sped from these Distributing 
Houses and direct from suppliers to 
the telephone company repair crews 
in the field as fast as needed. Dis- 
tributing House stocks were immedi- 
ately replenished from Merchandise 
stock at Western's Works locations 
and at suppliers' plants or from mate- 
rial specially manufactured by West- 
ern Electric and its suppliers. Ship- 
ments were also made to the Houses 
in the affected area from Western 
Electric Distributing Houses in Min- 

Day and nighty the supplies were loaded aboard trucks at Western Electric distribution 
houses for the storm area. This picture was taken at the Houston House 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

neapolis, Denver, New Orleans, and 

At factory locations, normal ship- 
ments of critical items were diverted 
to the storm areas until emergency 
requirements were filled. Many 
items were manufactured on a highly 
accelerated basis. One such emer- 
gency assignment was an order for 
some eight miles of toll cable to re- 
place cable destroyed by an overload 
of ice on the main pole route between 
Dallas and Oklahoma City. By giv- 
ing the job the highest priority. 
Western Electric's Point Breeze 
Works made and delivered the cable 
in one week. A short time later, 
four miles of toll cable for emergency 
replacement near Denison, Texas, 
was turned out by Point Breeze in 
four days. 

At one point, to keep pace with the 
demand for copper sleeves. Western 
Electric had the raw materials 
shipped by air express from Rome, 
N. Y., to Chicago. The shipment 
arrived at 7 p.m. on a Saturday and 
was taken to Western's Clearing and 
47th Street Plants for processing. 
Finished sleeves were on their way to 
the St. Louis Distributing House by 
noon next day. 

Many times, storm orders came 
through late at night. For just such 
situations. Western Electric main- 
tains an emergency directory of 
Western Electric personnel, sup- 
pliers, and transportation companies, 
which gives the home telephone num- 

bers of individuals delegated to han- 
dle emergencies. Suppliers' repre- 
sentatives were frequently located at 
their homes — one was even called out 
of a barber's chair while being 
shaved — by members of Western 
Electric's Supplies Service organiza- 
tion and requested to get material 
ready for shipment. Meanwhile, 
members of Western's Traffic Divi- 
sion telephoned trucking companies, 
airlines, railroads to arrange for the 
routing of the cargo to the storm 
areas by the fastest means possible. 

Delivery of such large quantities 
of materials In such quick time Is pos- 
sible because Western Electric's long 
experience with the needs and prob- 
lems of the Bell companies permits 
advance planning, because Western 
Electric's nation-wide facilities may 
be called upon at a moment's notice 
night or day, and because Western 
Electric and telephone company peo- 
ple are accustomed to working to- 
gether in emergencies and In day-to- 
day operations as a closely Integrated 

Call them one storm or many, they 
presented a challenge to the Bell 
System. And in both areas, north and 
south, the System's men and women 
— and, yes, organizations — have 
again shown their capabilities. They 
may properly be proud of the special 
service which they have rendered to 
many people over large sections of 
our country. 

ime Y^:XN\\\'^ Number I wo 

iSummer ig4Q 

Where Do We Go From Here? Ka.n^lX^ 
Harry Disston 

The Role of Communications in 

Red Cross Operations 

Wade Jones 

Robert Devonshire's Letterbook 
Ralph E. Mooney 


Bell Tele|)iione/kw^ 

Summer 1949 

Where Do We Go from Here? Harry Disston, 83 

The Bell Statue at Brantford, 96 

Helen Keller Visits the Bell Laboratories, 97 

The Role of Communications in Red Cross Operations, 
fVade Jones, 99 

Progress of the Rural Service Program, 108 

Robert Devonshire's Letterbook, Ralph E. Mooney, no 

Desert Isle Books, 122 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 124 

Bell Laboratories and Western Electric to Operate Sandia 
Laboratory for AEC, 125 

Who's Who & What's What in This Issue, 126 

A Medium of Suggestion ^ a Record of Progress 

Published for the supervisory forces of the Bell System by the Information Department of 
American Telephone and Telegraph Co., /p5 Broadway^ New York 7, A^ Y. 
Leroy a. Wilson, President; Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, Sec; Donald R. Belcher, Treas. 

The ironze statue of Alexander Graham Bell unveiled in Brantjord^ Untario^ 
last June i8. See also page g6 

Commercial Engineers Study the Pasty Survey the Present^ 

and Consider the Future in Order to Make Forecasts of the 

Demand for Telephone Service 

Where Do We Go 

From Here? 

Harry Disston 

How MANY PEOPLE in the Alpha 
Telephone Company's territory will 
want telephone service? What kind? 
When ? Where ? How much ? 

A broad answer to those questions 
is the starting point for a host of tele- 
phone activities. These primary 
questions lead to a number of others. 

If the "demand" for telephones in 
the next year is such-and-such, what 
will it be in three years? What will 
be the relation of telephone gain to 
the demand for telephones? How 
many people will move — within a 
given city and away from it? How 
many rural families will want tele- 
phone service? 

What will be the trend in discon- 
nection of service over the next sev- 
eral years? How many orders will 
be held for lack of facilities at the end 
of the year, and what will be the 
"melt"? In what proportion will ap- 
plicants ask for one-, two-, and four- 
party service, and how soon shall we 
be able to increase the proportion of 

individual lines to the high percentage 
existing just prior to the war? 

The answers to those questions de- 
pend in turn upon answers to others 
— many of which are provided by 
various departments. 

What is the business outlook — the 
trend and level of personal income, 
industrial activity, employment? 
What will be the trend of consumer 
credit and prices? How will the 
trend of telephone growth coordinate 
with business conditions — will it lead 
or lag behind? 

What is the outlook for residential 
construction? What will be the an- 
nual increase in population? Will 
people marry at an older or a younger 
age during the next ten years? What 
will be the average size of the Amer- 
ican family — in urban and in rural 

Has the telephone moved perma- 
nently higher on the list of the aver- 
age man's necessities? Have we 
reached a new phase in the long-term 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


This picture and the one opposite represent a "'crystal ball" problem. The aerial 
camera found little but highways and empty fields in the Spring of i()4'J 

trend of telephone growth? How 
will growth in business telephones 
compare with growth in residence 
telephones? To what extent will cus- 
tomers' desires for individual-line 
telephones rather than party line serv- 
ice increase? 

Of course, nobody knows the an- 
swers to all of these questions — but 
thought must be given to all of them. 
The forecaster — the Commercial En- 
gineer — does not attempt to evaluate 
quantitatively each of the various fac- 
tors he considers in making his for- 
ward look, but he must be aware of 
each and evaluate them qualitatively. 
Into the estimate goes a good deal of 
experience and judgment and, if you 
like, a certain "feel" for the figures. 

The Commercial Engineering peo- 
ple do not attempt to come to their 
forecasting conclusions alone. The 
Company Statistician helps analyze 

and forecast probable business con- 
ditions. The Sales and Servicing peo- 
ple advise on promotional plans. 
The Engineering and Plant men ad- 
vise on the extent and nature of the| 
construction program and where fa- 
cilities existing and obtainable are 
short of customer demand. Man- 
agers and district managers provide 
the local background and point of 
view which are so important in ap- 
praising correctly the probabilities of 
customer requirements for telephone 
service in a given community. 

Based on these sources and on re- 
view of a variety of reference ma- 
terial, the Commercial Engineers as- 
semble and coordinate all the perti- 
nent facts and viewpoints and set 
them down as assumptions on which 
to make their forecasts — after the as- 
sumptions have had executive ap- 


Where Do We Go From Here? 


Eighteen months later, this is what the aerial camera saw. There are now some 6000 
* houses in total in this enormous privately financed housing development 

Importance of the Answers 

The plans of the Bell System Com- 
panies are intimately keyed to one 
primary piece of information: — ap- 
proximately how many telephones a 
company, a city, an exchange, or even 
a portion of an exchange, will have 
to serve at some specified time in the 
future. Or, put another way, what 
the growth requirements, the "net de- 
mand," will be over or during a cer- 
tain period. This is the primary an- 
swer which all the questions just cited 
must provide. 

The Engineers need this informa- 
tion so that they may plan new build- 
ings, new central offices and additions 
to old ones; plan basic cable layouts 
and additions to existing cable; and 
determine the extent of such projects 
and the time when they should be 

All of the operating departments 
— Plant, Traffic, Commercial, Ac- 
counting — need the information so 
that they can estimate the amount of 
work expected of them and provide 
adequate trained forces to handle it. 
For the forecast of telephone growth 
gives a good clue to the number of 
additional calls, visits, and letters the 
business-office people will be required 
to care for; the approximate number 
of calls for "Operator" and for "In- 
formation"; the amount of mainte- 
nance to be required for dial equip- 
ment and switchboards; the number 
of bills to be processed; and the size 
and number of directories to be 

The Sales people need the informa- 
tion to determine their markets and 
to plan their programs. 

Those concerned with the financial 
aspects of the business need it in esti- 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


mating the amount of money required 
to finance new construction. 


The post-war years posed a partic- 
ularly difficult problem for the fore- 
casters. Here was an unusually high 
demand for telephone service, in 1946 
about four times the highest year 
prior to the war. How long would 
this continue? Even with the greatly 
expanded production of the Western 
Electric Company and the help of 
other manufacturers and a large in- 
crease in force, how many telephones 
could be added? And to complicate 
the problem, there was an acute short- 
age of materials. Those who pre- 
dicted that the unprecedented demand 
would continue for several years were 
right. The Bell System gained as 
many new telephone customers in each 
of 1947 and 1948 as during the 11- 

year period from 1930 to 1941! 
There were as many telephones added 
in the three-year period from Janu- 
ary I, 1946, to January i, 1949, as 
in the preceding ten years ! 


Forecasts of telephone growth are 
made for a variety of purposes, but 
the greatest activity in this respect is 
in connection with forecasts made as 
a basis for engineering central office 
relief or additions; for engineering 
extensions of the outside plant; and 
for fundamental long-range planning 
— buildings, new central offices, con- 
duit layout, and similar projects. 

These forecasts of telephone 
growth are also important, of course, 
in planning and carrying out the com- 
prehensive activities of the Associated 
Companies for extending and improv- 
ing telephone service in rural areas. 

More than 80 percent of the families in this area of a New England city have telephone 
servicCy and about half of them have individual lines 


Where Do We Go From Here? 


Even in this temporary housing development^ more than 60 percent of the families have 
telephone service or have applied for it 

In each case, there is some varia- 
tion with respect to the period cov- 
ered, the area included, the amount of 
breakdown by classes of service, the 
amount of field inspection, and, of 
course, the frequency with which the 
forecasts are made. Such forecasts 
are generally initiated by a request 
from the Plant, Engineering, or Traf- 
fic Departments when a construction 
project is being considered. 

A Typical Forecast 

Let us see briefly how a typical 
forecast is made — one to be used, for 
example, as a basis for engineering 
underground cable "relief" in a single- 
office city. 

First, the characteristics and his- 
tory of the exchange are studied. 
Tables and charts showing yearly and 
monthly data regarding growth in 
total telephones, main telephones, and 

lines are studied. So are the propor- 
tion of various classes of service, and 
other such factual data summarized 
from Company records and from pre- 
vious studies and forecasts. Perti- 
nent newspapers clippings, building 
reports, and other like information 
made available by the local manager 
are also reviewed. A study of these 
past trends and the current informa- 
tion are then checked against similar 
trends for the area as a whole. 

Next, an engineer, in the Commer- 
cial Engineer's organization, makes a 
field inspection of the exchange — in- 
cluding not only the urban sections but 
any rural areas covered by the ex- 
change. He takes with him a map of 
the entire exchange, subdivided into 
the areas served by each of the main 
feeder cables and further subdivided 
within these areas into homogeneous 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


This semi-permanent housing project near a large mid-Western tuy LOrUuins j/oo units. 
In them are iioo subscribers to telephone service^ and there are about 200 held orders 

On the outskirts of the same city these jo houses were built in one block. At the time the 
picture was taken, 2j had been sold and 24. orders for telephone service had been placed 

A homogeneous section is one in 
which the income characteristics of 
families, and therefore the telephone 
growth probabilities, are similar. 
This normally would be a relatively 
large area, characterized in residen- 
tial sections by similarity in quality 

of dwellings, uniformity and density 
of dwellings, uniformity in the indi- 
cated income status of the families, 
and telephone development. These 
homogeneous sections are termed 
"forecast sections." 

The general classification in broad 


Where Do We Go From Here? 


boundaries of each forecast section is 
reviewed with the local manager (in 
the larger cities with the District or 
Division Manager). The manager, 
as a continuing activity, keeps himself 
posted as to the local outlook for 
growth through his contacts and dis- 
cussions with local realty people and 
civic and business groups. He is also 
in touch, of course, with the telephone 
equipment and plant situation through 
his Plant and Traffic coordinates. 

The engineer, frequently accompa- 
nied by the local manager, then makes 
an on-the-ground inspection of the 
area for which the forecast is re- 
quired, noting particularly its charac- 
ter and the probabilities and indica- 
tions of growth and increased tele- 
phone development. The forecast 
sections within the area are viewed 
to ascertain that the boundaries, indi- 
cated on the map, encompass a por- 

tion of the area which is actually ho- 

Having finished his inspection of 
the area, the engineer, with the as- 
sistance of the manager, notes basic 
assumptions with respect to the 
growth of the area — that is, the "de- 
mand" for telephone service — in the 
next few years. Such assumptions are 
based on current economic conditions, 
the results of inspection of the area, 
and the views of the local people. 


Telephone growth in a homoge- 
neous section of an exchange results 
from two basic factors : an increase in 
the number of existing families with 
service, commonly expressed as "per- 
cent development" ; and an increase in 
the number of families in the area. 

For engineering purposes, the 
Plant and Engineering people must 

Even in this rather run-down section near the city's lousiness center^ 
telephone development is 50 percent 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


know the number of lines required to 
serve these families. The number of 
lines depends, of course, upon the rel- 
ative numbers of subscribers who 
want one-, two-, and four-party serv- 
ice (commonly expressed as "percent 

In order to forecast future devel- 
opment and distribution, it is desira- 
ble to have some indication of what 
the development and distribution are 
currently, in each of the forecast (ho- 
mogeneous) sections within the area. 
Records of distribution are available 
from Company records only for ex- 
changes and sometimes central offices; 
and since development is associated 
with families, it is not available at 
all from official Company records. 
Therefore, the engineer must deter- 
mine these two items in the field — on 
the ground. 

The engineer carefully counts the 
number of families in a sample area 
and then, from Plant assignment or 
street-address records, determines the 
number of families who have tele- 
phone service and what grade of serv- 
ice they have. In determining the 
number of families who have service, 
any held orders are included. From 
these data he computes the percent 
development (families with service) 
and the percent distribution (individ- 
ual, two-party and four-party). 


Armed with a knowledge of the 
general business outlook and the out- 
look for the area for which the fore- 
cast is to be made, a study of past 
trends, and a thorough on-the-ground 
review of the area, the engineer esti- 
mates for each forecast section what 
he believes the future development 
will be. 

Based on the number of lines as 
furnished by the Plant Department 
and ratios developed from the sam- 
pling, the number of main telephones 
in each forecast section is computed, 
and a forecast is made of the develop- 
ment in the future. This percent- 
age is applied to the current main tele- 
phones to indicate the number of tele- 
phones the present families will have. 
The difference between this figure and 
the current number of telephones in 
the area is the growth : the installa- 
tion of telephones in the homes of 
families who presently do not have 
service; penetration of the unsold 

The number of additional families 
who will move into each of the fore- 
cast sections is then forecast. This 
estimate is based largely on the re- 
sults of the field inspection, during 
which were observed the type of 
dwelling, current building, and vacant 
lots. The building contracts let in 
the area and the plans of the local 
realtors are studied. Estimates must 
also be made of what percent of these 
new families will probably have serv- 
ice. The development among the new 
families may be the same, poorer, or 
better than that estimated among ex- 
isting families — although generally it 
is estimated to be the same. From 
these factors, the growth in tele- 
phones expected from the new fami- 
lies is computed. 

Adding the growth expected from 
increased develooment and that from 
new families indicates the total tele- 
phone growth to be expected in the 
section over the forecast period. 

In this example, we have assumed 
a continued growth. Under some cir- 
cumstances there might be, of course, 


Where Do We Go From Here? 


Left: Five years agOy tele- 
phone development in this 
section of a southern city 
was less than ^o percent; 
today it is 75 percent or 

Right: Pie-war telephone 
development in this ''cot- 
tage" area was yo percent. 
Now the few houses with- 
out telephones will have 
theyn when facilities are 

a loss of families and a decrease in 

We have also assumed that the 
area was residential. Normally, and 
especially where there is a community 
shopping and service center in or close 
to a residential section, the expected 
growth in the business section is de- 
termined by its relationship to the 
residential section: — so many busi- 
ness main telephones per 100 popula- 
tion, per 100 families, or even per 
100 residence main telephones, de- 
pending on which of these data, from 
experience in the local area, are sig- 
nificant and available. 

The forecast of main telephone 
growth is converted to line growth — 
the information desired by the Plant 
Engineers — through a simple arith- 
metic computation. The forecast of 
two- and four-party main telephone 

growth is divided by feasible "line 
fills" determined by consultation with 
the Plant Department. 

Although, in our example of a resi- 
dential area, there may be few mis- 
cellaneous lines, in many sections 
there might be a considerable number. 
These are needed for signaling, wired 
music, radio and video wire channels, 
alarm systems, off-premise extensions, 
private lines, and such. The Sales 
and Servicing people will indicate the 
probabilities of future demand for 
these miscellaneous lines. 

Now we have the total growth 
forecast during the desired period, 
and consequently the line require- 

But this is not enough. 

The specific periods to be covered 
by a forecast vary, depending on the 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


time, the place, local conditions, the 
use to be made of the forecast, the 
nature of the engineering problem in- 
volved, and other such considerations. 
Having determined the picture for 
the period ahead, estimates are made 
for intermediate periods by a combi- 
nation of interpolation and the same 
considerations that controlled the 
longer view. 

And still the job is not done. The 
almost completed forecast — the line 
requirements in each of the homoge- 
neous sections — must be looked at in 
perspective, must be examined to see 
if it is logical. The rule of reason 
must be applied. 

The rate of growth for each of the 
forecast sections is compared with the 
rate of growth for the exchange as a 
whole, and the result is viewed from 
the standpoint of whether the fore- 
cast section would be expected to lead, 
lag behind, or approximate the views 
formerly made for the exchange as a 
whole. The section for which the 

forecast has just been completed is 
also compared with other similar sec- 
tions elsewhere and with expected 
rates of growth for the state or area 
as a whole, if such forecasts have been 
made. If these checks indicate the 
forecast may not be a sound one, the 
engineer sharpens his wits and his 
pencil and reviews the job to see just 
where he may have gone off the 

Finally, the job is done, and the 
forecast is sent to the Plant Engineer. 


From the foregoing, it may appear 
that making a forecast is not too diffi- 
cult. And that, once it is made, there 
is nothing more to do but provide the 
plant to take care of the predicted 
growth and everything will be serene. 
You will recognize, however, that we 
have been discussing only the proced- 
ure. The tough part of the job Is, of 
course, the judgment, based on ex- 

In this residential area^ only 65 percent of the families had telephone service before the 

Today the development is 100 percent 



Where Do We Go From Here? 


perience, that makes the forecast; 
makes it a good one or a poor one. 

An important part of the forecast- 
ing job is keeping forecasts up to date. 
The periodic records of gain and de- 
mand — usually monthly — are re- 
viewed frequently to determine 
whether the forecast still appears to 
be sound. If the actual net demand 
for service (roughly the number of 
people who request service, less those 
disconnecting their service) is such 
that it is clear the forecast is either 
too high or too low, it is revised. 

In addition to the trend of actual 
growth, revisions are made when 
some special occurrence indicates the 
need for doing so. Such special situa- 
tions might be the announcement of a 
new real estate development project, 
the establishment of a main or branch 
headquarters of some large business 
organization, plans for a new factory 
or industry, completion of improved 
transportation facilities, or other 
major change. 

Occasionally. Commercial Engi- 
neers are asked how accurate their 
estimates are. That's a hard one to 
answer. It depends, in general, on 
the size of the area and the period 
covered. The larger and shorter, the 
more accurate is the forecast. Over 
the years, however, it is evident that 
commercial forecasts of growth used 
as a basis for engineering have 
proved sufficiently accurate for a good 
job in the planning of equipment and 
plant additions. 

Development — On the Record 

It is interesting to note the change 
in telephone development — that is, 
the percent of families who have serv- 
ice — over the years. 

In areas served by the Bell System 
from 1929, twenty years ago, to 
1 94 1, just prior to the war, the per- 
cent of families with service remained 
almost constant at about 40 per cent. 
But now, after eight short years (on 

This suburban area had about jo percent telephone development five or six years ago. 
At present the development ranges between jo and 85 percent 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Right: Two years ago^ this 
area^ not far from a siz- 
able city, was given over 
to truck farming or to 
scrub growth 

Left: In the past two 
yearsy about 2000 houses 
have been built in the 
locality y the big school in 
the background is new^ 
and 5p percent of the 
families have telephones 

January i, 1949) the development is 
almost 66 percent ! 

By cities, the change is even more 
dramatic. Twenty years ago, only 
three large cities (over 50,000 popu- 
lation) had a development of 70 per- 
cent and over (i.e., in only three cities 
did 70 percent or more of the families 
have a telephone). Ten years ago 
(on January i, 1939), the number 
of cities with a development of 70 
percent and over had increased only 
two, to five. In 1941 there were 
seven such cities (out of a total of 
188, or about 4 per cent) . And now, 
on the first of this year, after an in- 
terval of only eight years, there are 
112 cities in this classification — 52 
percent of the cities over 50,006 popu- 
lation have a development of 70 per- 
cent or more. 

Looking at individual localities, we 
find some with unusually high devel- 

opment. For example, on January i 
of this year, three cities exceeded 90 
percent development. In Evanston, 
a suburb of Chicago, 99 per cent of 
the families had telephones; in New- 
ton, a suburb of Boston, 94 percent 
of the families had telephones; in 
Kalamazoo, Mich., the development 
was 91 percent. In Oak Park, out- 
side of Chicago, it was 88 percent; 
and in Brookline, near Boston, it was 
89 percent. 

Such high development is not, how- 
ever, confined to suburban residential 
areas. In Tulsa, Okla., and Madi- 
son, Wis., 90 percent of the families 
had telephone service; in Lansing, 
Mich., the development was 88 per- 
cent; in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Cedar 
Rapids, and Dayton, it was 87 per- 
cent as of the first of this year. 

Times have changed. A substan- 
tial increase in average family income, 


Where Do We Go From Here? 


rhe sustained high demand for tele- 
phone service, the marked increase in 
roll usage, and the apparently greater 

necessity" of telephone service to 
many individuals since the war, have 
materially changed the views of fore- 
casters concerning future telephone 
vievelopment. Bear in mind also that 

any of them are now contemplating 
.;i their views of future development 
a proportion of homes with two lines 
per family — one for the exclusive use 
of their "teen-agers." 

T/ie Future 

This is a difficult time for forecast- 
ers. Taking a forward look at tele- 
phone growth for the next year or so, 
and for the longer periods sometimes 
required for engineering purposes in 
specific localities, presents some dif- 
ficult problems. 

It is a well recognized human trait 
that recent occurrences influence us 
most and that the past is quickly for- 
gotten. Forecasters are human. 

The telephone growth during the war 
was, of course, most abnormal. The 
three years following the war were 
unusual, different from anything we 
have had in the past, and pre-war 
years appear to be far too long ago. 
The war and post-war years are fresh 
in everyone's memory and it is diffi- 
cult to keep them from influencing 
one's thinking. 

The problem in forecasting growth 
today, then, is to take into account not 
only the experience of the recent past 
but also to weigh realistically the 
possibilities of changes in past trends 
which may develop because of changes 
in fundamental economic conditions. 
The forecaster today, even to a 
greater extent than in the past, must 
appreciate the vital part his estimates 
play in the provision of facilities 
which will meet the requirements of 
customers as they develop and at the 
same time keep additional investment 
and expense at a minimum level. 

Night photograph of the statue in place 

The Bell Statue at Brantford 

A BRONZE STATUE of Alexander Graham 
Bell was unveiled on June 1 8 in Brant- 
ford, Ontario, Canada, the city where he 
lived when he first came to America and 
where he conceived the idea of the tele- 
phone. It is the work of Cleeve Home, 
Canadian sculptor, and stands in the 
portico of the new building of the Bell 
Telephone Company of Canada at Brant- 
ford. The memorial to the telephone's 
inventor was made possible by the raising 
of $10,000 in voluntary contributions by 
members of the Charles Fleetford Sise 
Chapter, Telephone Pioneers of America. 

A photograph of the statue is reproduced 
on page 82. 

Among those who took part in the cere- 
monies were Mrs. Gilbert Grosvenor, 
Bell's daughter, of Washington, D. C. ; 
Mr. Frederick Johnson, President of the 
Bell Telephone Company of Canada; Mr. 

Thomas N. Lacy, President-elect of the 
Telephone Pioneers of America and Presi- 
dent of the Michigan Bell Telephone Com- 
pany; and Mr. H. A. G. MacKinnon, 
President of Charles Fleetford Sise Chap- 
ter of the Pioneers. 

The statue is a heroic figure eight feet 
in height. It portrays Bell seated and 
wearing academic robes signifying the hon- 
ors which were bestowed upon him for his 
accomplishments. The inscription on the 
plain stone base reads simply: 

Alexander Graham Bell 


On the adjacent wall are the words: 

/// grateful remembrance of the inventor 
of the telephone. Erected by the Charles 
Fleetford Sise Chapter, Telephone Pio- 
neers of J m erica, 1949 

Helen Keller Visits the 
Bell Laboratories 

Helen Keller, whom Alexander 
Graham Bell had aided in her child- 
hood,* visited the Murray Hill in- 
stallation of the Bell Telephone Lab- 
oratories last June, and, following 
her trip, wrote to Dr. Oliver E. 
Buckley, President of the Labora- 
tories, the letter which is quoted here. 

Helen Keller's life story is well 
known through her remarkable at- 
tainments as lecturer, writer, and par- 
ticularly as champion of handicapped 
people. After losing her own hear- 
ing and sight at the age of 19 months, 
she later learned the art of vocal ex- 
pression with the patient help of de- 
voted teachers. 

It was Alexander Graham Bell 
who obtained Anne Sullivan (Mrs. 
Macy) as Miss Keller's first com- 
panion-teacher. Dr. Bell was Helen 
Keller's firm friend, and her host on 
many occasions. Miss Polly Thom- 
son, who has been Miss Keller's com- 
panion for many years, succeeded to 
Mrs. Macy's role. Miss Thomson 
accompanied Miss Keller to the Lab- 
oratories, and they were in constant 
communication during the Murray 
Hill tour. Miss Thomson swiftly 
conveys messages by means of pres- 
sure signals on Miss Keller's palm, 
and in some instances. Miss Keller 
reads Miss Thomson's lips by plac- 

•See "Helen Keller and Dr. Bell," Maga- 
zine, Spring 1947. 

ing the ends of her fingers lightly 
upon them. Miss Keller spoke back 
readily or, with her sensitive touch, 
carried out some action suggested by 
the demonstrators during the tours. 
This is the letter Miss Keller 
wrote : 

Dear Dr. Buckley: 

Truly it was a day of wonders which 
Miss Thomson and I spent at Bell Tele- 
phone Laboratories in Murray Hill, New 
Jersey, and my thanks to you, who made 
it possible, can be measured only by my 
lifelong affection for Dr. Bell and proud 
sense of oneness with him in the growth 
of his work. Deeply I regret not meeting 
you there. It would have been easier to 
speak my* pleasure to you than to write it 
in a letter, but the glow of your kindness 
will always remain warm in my memory. 

Gratefully I recall how freely Dr. 
Bown, Dr. Walker, Mr. Honaman, Dr. 
Fry and others gave of their time to tak- 
ing us around or showing me the various 
instruments or answering my questions or 
filling out my mental pictures of the sim- 
ple yet handsome buildings and their de- 
lightful surroundings full of country- 
sweet peace. It really seemed as if Dr. 
Bell was with me just as in the past when 
he used to talk to me about his epoch- 
making ideas and experiments. 

And my upward gaze goes with him, 

and I see 
Far off against the sky 
The glint of golden sunlight on 

his wings. 


Bell Telephone Magazine 

Everything we saw at the Laboratories 
bespoke the civilization that would unite 
mankind in one great family by the spoken 
word to which Dr. Bell looked forward. 
It is true, we are still far from peace, 
despite wider, more swift communications, 
and nothing seems more difficult, more 
baffling than to awaken a social conscience 
that will cause the nations to abandon wars 
and selfish rivalries. But we all know 
how Dr. Bell dismissed pessimistic attitudes 
as futile and unconstructive, and with un- 
wavering faith I anticipate the sunrise of 
the finer human race he dreamed. 

It is hard to decide what interested me 
most among all the fascinating inventions 
and processes we saw at the Laboratories. 
My fingers tingled as they felt the minia- 
ture apparatus that promises lighter parts 
in the telephone, the radio, and the tele- 
vision set, and more satisfying vibrations 
over the wires. It scarcely seemed pos- 
sible that mortal ingenuity could have 
devised such tiny Transistors with wires 
like spider webs for conducting the voice 
over long distances. It was a veritable 
poem — bringing radio rays and sound 
waves to a focus by means of a field of 
closely spaced spheres. And how I felt 
the power of a wizard in the growing of 
quartz crystals! Always I shall prize 
among my chief treasures the little crys- 
tal and the diminutive amplifying device 
which Dr. Walker presented to me. 

The most absorbing sensation for me 
was visiting the Free Space Room. Lan- 
guage has no equivalent for the absolute 
physical silence which burst upon me in 
that fantastic, bewildering chamber, sus- 
pended in what appeared to me an utter 
void. No, it did not disconcert me. I have 
known many kinds of silence — the silence 
of early morning, the silence of remote 
mountain summits, the silence of gently 
falling snow. I have been oppressed by 
the silence of a spiritual crisis, hushed by 
the silence of a great love and awed by 
the silence of friendships that had ceased 
to be. But in the Acoustic Dead Room 
I had a sense of complete disconnection 

with the life of the universe. Even before 
my education began, I noticed vibrations 
that still ring in my tactual memory, and 
it was interesting to contrast them with 
the soundless jolts and jars of footsteps in 
the dead room. Shut in by floor, walls, 
and ceiling of fiberglass, I throbbed with 
the silence of the dead and the silence that 
covers buried peoples and ages without a 
history. The music conveyed to me by a 
spirit-fine nerve of a gadget was a relief 
beyond words — the vast range of life re- 
stored. Not for the world would I have 
missed those weird moments in that spot 
of perfect stillness. 

Then there were the "thinking" ma- 
chines ! Every time I give them a thought, 
I am a bit staggered by their superiority to 
man's brain, at least in its routine processes, 
but as a student of philosophy, I smile be- 
cause that superiority does not discredit 
the Spirit any more than the excellence of 
a being with all his senses annuls the 
reality of a life-like mind deficient in sight 
and hearing. If we only use worthily the 
advantages that cybernetics is placing 
within our reach, science will, I am con- 
fident, elucidate to us relationships more 
marvelous than any we have yet compre- 

It was a pity I could not reach up to 
Dr. Bell's splendid bust, but now I have 
the handsome souvenir from the Labora- 
tories containing the motto that he so 
often repeated to me in one form or other, 
"Leave the beaten track occasionally and 
dive into the woods." In it too is Dr. 
Arnold's noble definition of research and 
its heroic aims. Do you wonder that I 
seek in vain for words to thank you all for 
one of the most luminous days I have ever 
spent in the Temple of Knowledge? 

Please give my cordial greetings to all 
my friends at Bell Telephone Laboratories 
and to the employees whose zealous coop- 
eration is a tribute to the genius and the 
workmanship that produced the immense 
edifice at Murray Hill. 

Sincerely yours, 

Helen Keller 

To Administer Relief in Times of Disaster^ This National 

Organisation Relies Heavily on Telephone^ Teletypewriter^ 

Mobile Service^ Radio Amateurs 

The Role of Communications 
In Red Cross Operations 

IVade Jones 

Staff Writer, Public Relations Division, 
American National Red Cross 

Where the saving of life and the 
amelioration of suffering and hard- 
ship are at stake, swift and adequate 
communications may be vital. The 
following article has been written in 
response to an invitation to the na- 
tional organization of the American 
Red Cross to describe the part played 
by communications in its disaster re- 
lief operations. EDITOR. 

When Red Cross national disaster 
workers talk shop, the subject usually 
gets around to communications; and 
communications invariably brings up 
Vanport, Oregon. For it was during 
the great Vanport flood of May 30, 
1948, that the Red Cross was treated 
to what seemed like a communications 

Corraled for days behind high lev- 
ees, the rampaging Columbia River 
finally broke through into Vanport 

late on that Memorial Day afternoon. 
The Red Cross was faced thereupon 
with the enormous task of providing 
immediate relief for more than 18,- 
500 homeless. 

The organization's disaster experts 
on the scene were prepared for the de- 
luge of phone calls which followed. 
But they weren't entirely prepared for 
what the local telephone company did 
about them. 

What the Pacific Telephone and 
Telegraph Company accomplished in 
the first hectic hours at Vanport re- 
mains, as far as the Red Cross is con- 
cerned, an outstanding example of 
productive effort at its best. 

Within three hours after the levee 
broke, twelve lines were cut into the 
main Red Cross switchboard at chap- 
ter headquarters In Portland. In an- 
other two hours a second switchboard 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


with eight lines was in operation. At 
the same time, 14 direct central-office 
lines were installed for various disas- 
ter officials. 

By the following morning, 16 hours 
after the break, telephone representa- 
tives had issued a mimeographed di- 
rectory of Red Cross key personnel, 
helping reduce confusion in locating 
persons at the Portland chapter head- 
quarters. Also, a loud speaker pag- 
ing system and an information center 
had been installed. 

But by Monday night, a little more 
than 24 hours after the levee gave 
way, even the newly expanded tele- 
phone set-up was bogging down under 

the avalanche of calls — mainly from 
persons inquiring about the safety of 
friends or relatives. So a temporary 
disaster headquarters was hurriedly 
established in a recently vacated build- 
ing. Again, the telephone workers 
pitched in. They speedily reactivated 
a two-position, 80-line switchboard 
with approximately 20 trunks and 50 
stations. At the same time private 
lines were cut in between the new 
headquarters and the home service 
bureau at the chapter offices. 

However, as the tremendous im- 
pact of the disaster spread through- 
out the nation, and with the growing 
relief problem at the scene, the work 



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Red Cross volunteer telephone operators handled more than jofioo calls a day during 
the emergency created by floods in this country's Northwest last year 


Communications in Red Cross Operations 


of the Red Cross con- 
tinued to mount. So 
again more space was 
needed and again the 
telephone people went 
to work. Chosen as 
the newest headquar- 
ters was the basement 
of Portland's Munici- 
pal Auditorium, and 
into it telephone work- 
ers rushed two 8o-line 
switchboards, originally 
assigned to a private 
business concern. 

Cable cuts and trans- 
fers were hurriedly 
made to utilize every 
available pair of wires. 
The telephone business 
office asked the occu- 
pants of one entire 
building to give up their 
service for a few hours 
so that their central- 
office lines could be used 
by the Red Cross. The 
reply was immediately 
and enthusiastically af- 
firmative. The 50-pair 
cable serving the build- 
ing was swung over to 
the auditorium, and splicers worked 
throughout the night to make the 

Installers laced the auditorium ceil- 
ing with a network of supports .for 
the switchboard cables and station 
wires. Pairs were pulled into place, 
identified, and tagged at all desk loca- 
tions as the desks were moved in. 

In the words of one thoroughly im- 
pressed Red Cross worker, "The 
movers would bring you in a desk, and 
before you could locate a chair the 
telephone people would have a phone 

Scene at a Red Cross disaster relief headquarters as 

volunteers handle telephoned inquiries and Boy Scouts 

stand by as messengers 

on the desk. Not only that, but the 
phone would be ringing!" 

Some 40 handset telephones were 
connected to individual lines arranged 
so that calls coming in for informa- 
tion or for reports on missing persons 
automatically sought the first idle 
telephone in the group. And few re- 
mained idle long at the peak of 

Finally an additional switchboard 
— the fifth — was installed on the sec- 
ond floor of the auditorium. Along 
with it were six trunks, two tie-lines 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


to the basement switchboard, and two 
toll terminals to speed emergency 
long distance calls. 

In the first week at Vanport, Red 
Cross volunteer telephone operators 
handled approximately 31,000 calls a 

But not in terms of machines and 
equipment alone is the story of 
Vanport told. With the Red Cross 
and the telephone company, as with 
other organizations who fought the 
flood and its effects, the big story of 
Vanport must be told in terms of peo- 
ple — simple courage facing up to dan- 
ger, stubborn will battling with sleep- 
lessness and fatigue, and the always 
wonderful-to-see readiness of the or- 
dinary man to come to the aid of his 

Despite official orders that the 
Vanport telephone office be evacu- 
ated, the operators stayed on as the 
waters rushed through a broken dyke 
and swept into the streets. Every 
call that came in, the operators an- 
swered with warnings to get out of 
the area. 

The traffic load became so heavy 
that fuses blew. They were replaced. 
Calls still were answered. Finally 
the power failed entirely. It was then 
the girl operators left in a telephone 
company truck, which had been stand- 
ing by for just that purpose. By the 
time the truck reached safe ground, 
flood waters were swirling around the 
ofl[ice roof. 

One of Many 

Loyal, courageous performance 
of duty by telephone workers in time 
of disaster is traditional. As far as 
the Red Cross is concerned, it is al- 
most axiomatic. 

Take the case of Johnny Urquhart, 
Southwestern Bell employee, in the 
Texas City disaster. 

While the building he was in still 
shook from the tremendous blast, 
Johnny hung onto the switchboard 
with one hand and with the other 
plugged a cord into the Houston cir- 
cuit to get G. H. Hearon, division 
traflic superintendent in that city. 

"For God's sake, send the Red 
Cross!" Johnny cried to Hearon. 
"There's been a big explosion here 
and thousands are injured." 

The next moment Hearon had 
dialed the telephone number of the 
Houston Red Cross, and was telling 
Miss Mary Snoddy, chapter executive 
secretary, that doctors and ambu- 
lances were needed at Texas City im- 
mediately. In a matter of minutes 
help was on the way, as the Houston 
Red Cross chapter swung into opera- 
tion on a plan of action laid out long 
in advance for just such a disaster as 
had now struck. 

Back in Texas City, Johnny Urqu- 
hart brushed away the glass and 
debris around the switchboard and 
continued to plug through emergency 
calls. He stopped only for a moment 
— to give first aid to Chief Operator 
lola Sheldon, who had been injured; 
by flying glass. She refused to leave 
her post. Johnny stayed at the 
switchboard for 16 hours straight. 

Texas City, incidentally, provides a 
good example of a special service 
which the Red Cross renders. For if 
you ever want information about the 
well-being of relatives in a disaster 
area, and have been unable to reach 
them by telephone or telegraph, just 
call your local Red Cross chapter. 
It will have a report for you In the 


Communications in Red Cross Operations 


shortest possible time, and without 

One such inquiry, from service-men 
in Japan, picked up by amateur radio 
operators in California and relayed 
by wire to Texas City, asked for in- 
formation on 30 different people. To 
get the answers to that single mes- 
sage, the Red Cross, with help from 
Boy Scouts and young church workers, 
made 116 home visits and 165 tele- 
phone calls. 

Importance of Communication 

There are 3,739 Red Cross chapters 
in the United States and each has at 
least one telephone. Chapters in the 

larger cities, of course, have many. 
The organization's national head- 
quarters in Washington, D. C, and 
the Pacific x\rea office in San Fran- 
cisco, have switchboards, with inter- 
office dialing. The three other area 
offices — at Alexandria, Va.; Atlanta, 
Ga.; and St, Louis, Mo. — have man- 
ual switchboards. 

As an important part of its com- 
munications system the Red Cross, 
both in disasters and in its normal 
day-to-day operations, leans heavily 
on its 10,000 miles of leased teletype 
lines across the country. 

When a major disaster strikes at 
a point not directly connected with 
this system, the Red Cross imme- 

Instruction in the use of various communications facilities is part of the training given 
Red Cross Chapter members. This switchboard is U. S. Forest Service equipment 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


diately places an order with both the 
telephone company and Western 
Union for a leased wire teletype cir- 
cuit from the disaster scene to the 
nearest of the 43 terminals on the 
teletype system. The understanding 
is that the Red Cross will get the first 
circuit available with either organi- 

At Vanport, for instance, a circuit 
was leased to San Francisco. From 
Texas City, the main line ran to 
Dallas via Galveston. In the New 
England forest fires during the fall of 
1947 the circuit was from Biddeford, 
Me., to Boston, Mass. This com- 
munications system is of vital impor- 
tance when other communications into 
a disaster area are overloaded or 

The Red Cross teletype system was 
instituted in October, 1946, and, with 
telephone relay of messages, serves 

A member of the American Radio Relay 
League receives a message by telephone 
from the Red Cross for radio transmission 
to a fellow League member operating at a 
disaster area 

some 400 points. Another 2,900 are 
reached by commercial telegraph re- 
file. Economy and speed are the gov- 
erning factors in determining how a 
message is to be sent. 

Auxiliaj-y Means 

In disasters where normal commu- 
nications lines are either disrupted 
or overloaded, the Red Cross has al- 
ways depended to a considerable ex- 
tent on amateur radio operators. Of 
the 80,000 "hams" who pursue their 
hobby across the length and breadth 
of the country, several can be de- 
pended upon to turn up at nearly any 
given disaster scene, no matter how 

To aid them in their work, and to 
increase their value to the Red Cross, 
the organization recently got together 
with the American Radio Relay 
League and the U. S. Naval Reserve 
and came up with a nation-wide 
emergency radio system. 

The "network," hinged upon sta- 
tions at Washington, D. C, Chicago, 
and San Francisco, went into opera- 
tion last winter. In the event of a 
disaster which interfered with the 
functioning of regular communica- 
tions, amateurs at the scene of the 
catastrophe would go into action, 
handling the most essential emergency 
traffic until normal facilities could be 

Their messages would be directed 
to the nearest of the three big Red 
Cross stations. The stations, in turn, 
manned by amateurs and naval re- 
servists, would go on the air round- 
the-clock, monitoring all messages and 
routing them to their proper destina- 
tions via Red Cross teletype and com- 
mercial telegraph. 


Communications in Red Cross Operations 


^ Red Cross mobile radio unit. Operated by volunteer amateur radio operators^ it is 

equipped to relax emergency messages to and from the scene of a disaster when normal 

means of communication have been destroyed 

As a double check, insuring com- 
munications coverage of any part of 
the United States, Red Cross head- 
quarters in Washington also has avail- 
able a mobile amateur radio station 
with its own auxiliary power supply. 
This station can reach other types of 
radios which might be in operation in 
a given disaster area — state and local 
police, military, etc. 

The unit can be used in an auto- 
mobile, or can be dismounted and 
flown into a disaster area by plane. 
Eventually, Red Cross national head- 
quarters plans to have three such 
mobile stations placed strategically 
through the country in areas where 
and when seasonal disasters can nor- 
mally be expected — the south and 
southeast during the early fall hur- 
ricane season, the south and south- 
west in the time of spring tornadoes, 

the Ohio and Mississippi valleys dur- 
ing the late spring floods. 

Among the several Red Cross chap- 
ters which have Bell System mobile 
radio telephones is the one in Jackson 
County (Kansas City), Missouri. 
Using these, and with the aid of 
amateur-owned and -operated walkie- 
talkies, chapter disaster workers did 
an outstanding job last spring in pro- 
viding up-to-the-minute warnings by 
telephone and radio to residents in 
the lowlands along the flooding Mis- 
souri River. All endangered families 
were safely evacuated. Robert Edson, 
of St. Louis, director of Red Cross 
disaster operations in the Midwest, 
called the operation "as complete a 
job of disaster communications as has 
taken place in recent years." 

In all large disasters, the Red 
Cross works closely with those 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


branches of the Armed Forces oper- 
ating at the scene as well as with the 
government agencies * — local, state 
and federal. 

An outstanding example of such 
cooperation was during the early part 
of this year, when the Red Cross and 
the Army fought shoulder to shoulder 
against the violent, crippling bliz- 
zards in the West.f The Red Cross, 
whose primary responsibility in dis- 
asters is to assist individuals to meet 
disaster-caused needs they cannot 
meet themselves, did just that in the 
blizzards. By chartered plane, snow 
tractors, and afoot, the Red Cross 
provided badly needed food and medi- 
cine to the snowbound, and evacuated 
dozens of sick and injured, as well as 
several expectant mothers, from the 
wilderness of drifts and cold. The 
Army, using its big planes and what- 
ever surface vehicles would negotiate 
the drifts, devoted most of its efforts 
to opening roads and getting food to 
stranded livestock. The work of the 
two organizations dovetailed nicely, 
but did not overlap. 

Communication Plans 

Some hard-won information on 
the general subject of communica- 
tions as they affect the Red Cross in 
time of disaster comes in a report 
from Mr. E. A. Valentine, who was 
chairman of the local Red Cross dis- 
aster committee at the Vanport flood. 
In relating difficulties brought on by 
the overwhelming load on communi- 
cations facilities in the first hours of 
the flood, he warns, "Above all [in 
making disaster preparedness plans] 
don't ignore communications! 

* See "The Coast Guard Operates through 
Communications," Magazine, Winter 1946-47. 

t See "The Winter's Toil Was Heavy from 
Texas to the Dalcotas," Magazine, Spring 1949. 

"Our advice is to get a telephone 
company official on your [Red Cross] 
disaster committee and give him free 
rein on communications set-ups from 
the very first. He, more than anyone 
else, can unsnarl what seems to you a 
hopeless mess. Let him set up two 
groups of telephone lines if he wants, 
so that one can be taking incoming 
calls while the other remains clear 
for outgoing calls." 

The national Red Cross disaster 
service in Washington, in its guidance 
to chapters, lays strong emphasis on 
preparedness for catastrophes. The 
organization's manual, "When Dis- 
aster Strikes," contains this advice on 
communications preparedness: 

"Survey all . . . communications 
resources within the chapter jurisdic- 
tion and obtain pledges of voluntary 
cooperation from organizations and 
individuals whose facilities or services 
would be essential to the performance 
of the [disaster] committee's func- 
tion in time of emergency. 

"Contact commercial communica- 
tions companies and amateur radio 
stations and operators, including mem- 
bers of the American Radio Relay 
League, to develop a plan for extend- 
ing priority for emergency communi- 
cations and for receiving and trans- 
mitting all Red Cross messages by 
telephone, telegraph or radio. . . . 

"Plan for the maintenance of a 
message center in time of disasters 
and have the center under control of 
the [Red Cross] subcommittee in co- 
operation with communications agen- 

"Plan for the mobilization and use 
of portable telephone systems and 
portable radio transmitters. 

"Formulate a written plan." 


Communications in Red Cross Operations 


The Scope of Red Cross Activities 

This story of Red Cross communi- 
cations has been told in terms of dis- 
aster work, for it is in those terms 
that the role of communications can 
be told most graphically. It is not to 
be supposed, however, that communi- 
cations do not play a large and neces- 
sary part in the many other Red Cross 

Actually, by the very nature and 
tremendous scope of the total Red 
Cross operation, it is obvious that 
communications would have to play 
an important over-all role in the or- 
ganization's work. 

A few facts illustrate the extent of 
American Red Cross activity: 

The organization's membership 
totals 37,524,000. There are 3,746 
chapters and more than 5,000 
branches. In the last fiscal year, 
funds expended by the chapters and 
the national organization totaled 

The Red Cross has approximately 
1,471,200 volunteer workers, 7.300 
of whom, with assistance from 6,800 
paid chapter workers, last year 
handled 768,000 cases involving serv- 
icemen and their dependents, 1,782,- 
000 involving veterans and their de- 
pendents, and 192,000 cases of 
civilians and others. 

An average of 10,000 volunteers 
and 1000 paid workers served 142,- 
600 patients in more than 130 mili- 
tary hospitals. Field directors and 
other paid Red Cross workers gave 
assistance in 622,100 servicemen's 
cases in 265 military camps. 



FOR DitAsrn ntPAHttmits and nititr 

The Ame7-ican Red Cross is a 
quasi-governmental agency ^ and this 
handbook^ prepared by National 
Headquarters^ helps the Chapters 
to be prepared to discharge their 
responsibilities ''when 
disaster strikes" 

In more than 300 major disaster 
operations the Red Cross assisted 
312,400 persons and spent $12,171,- 
000 during the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1948. 

The organization now has in op- 
eration twenty-eight blood centers 
throughout the country. 

And this by no means comprises all 
the Red Cross services. Yet it indi- 
cates the nature and extent of the 
organization's work, and in so doing 
gives some idea of how invaluable are 
communications, in all forms, to the 
integration of its many functions. 

Progress of the Rural Service 


The following paragraphs are from a mid-year summary of progress 
of the rural service program by Vice President Cleo F. Craig, head 
of the Department of Operation and Engineering of the American 
Telephone and Telegraph Company. 

The telephone companies throughout 
the nation are now in their fourth con- 
secutive year of record-breaking rural tele- 
phone construction to meet the unprec- 
edented demand for service which has 
sprung up during and since the war. 

The companies are pushing new tele- 
phone lines into remote ranch and farm 
sections. Regions where few farmers, if 
any, ever wanted telephone service are now 
anxious to get it. Better incomes in re- 
cent years have created a tremendous in- 
terest among farmers in modernizing their 
homes; naturally, they want more and 
better telephones. 

So great has been this up-surge in the 
applications for rural telephone service 
that it demanded the building of literally 
tens of thousands of miles of new pole 
line and the stringing of about a million 
miles of wire — to say nothing of many 
new buildings and vast quantities of switch- 
boards and other equipment. 

The Primary Aim 

The primary aim of the companies has 
always been to provide good telephone serv- 
ice as fast as practicable to every one who 
wants it, wherever he may be, and at rea- 
sonable rates. The army of engineers and 
construction men now engaged in the rural 
program has been building rural telephone 
plant at a rate three times as fast as ever 
before in history. 

Though much still remains to be done, 
the level of the farm telephone develop- 
ment in six of the nine geographical re- 
gions of the country, as defined by the Bu- 
reau of the Census, is already at high lev- 
els — about 70 percent, the same as in the 
cities. In scattered sections of the South 
and Southwest, which make up the other 
three regions, the opportunities for extend- 
ing service have increased tremendously in 
recent years. The telephone companies are 
concentrating their utmost efforts in these 
areas, and excellent progress is being made. 
Since 1940, the number of farms in those 
sections having telephones has increased 
over 100 percent. Half of all the new 
rural pole line construction in the entire 
Bell System has been concentrated in the 
Southern Bell and Southwestern Bell tele- 
phone companies. 

Southern Bell, for example, has spent 
over $49,000,000 since the war to boost 
its telephones in rural areas from 171,000 
at the end of 1945 to 372,400 on June i, 
1949. The job is not yet completed; but 
with its accelerated pace, the company ex- 
pects to catch up with customer demand 
one of these days. 

Southwestern Bell, too, has doubled its 
rural telephones. Since V-J Day that 
company has set 440,000 poles and strung 
120,000 miles of wire, nearly tripling its 
rural plant investment. About one-half of 
the establishments in Southwestern Bell's 

Progress in the Rural Service Program 


rural areas now have service, and the re- 
mainder can be taken care of in the not 
too distant future. 

During the war, when applications for 
service were piling up in rural as well as 
urban areas, the telephone industry desig- 
nated "Rural Telephones" as one of its 
most important jobs. The Bell System 
set its sights for a million more telephones 
in rural areas as rapidly as possible after 
the war. It appeared then that it might 
take as many as five years; but despite seri- 
ous shortages in materials and supplies of 
all kinds, the millionth instrument went 
into service last December — in just a little 
over three years. The number of tele- 
phones added in rural areas since the war 
totals today about 1,200,000, and the work 
is continuing unabated. 

About Half the Farms 
Now Have Telephones 

As A RESULT of this unprecedented per- 
formance of the Bell companies, plus the 
nearly 400,000 rural telephones added since 
the war by the 6,000 independently-owned 
telephone companies, about half of the 
farms in the United States now have tele- 
phones. This is twice as many as in 1940. 
Rural telephone service now is available, 
without any construction charges to cus- 
tomers, to a vast majority of the nation's 
occupied farms. 

In addition to adding more telephones, 
the Bell companies have also made great 
strides in improving the quality of service 
in rural areas. The number of parties on 
a line is being reduced to not more than 
eight. Today 70 percent of all rural cus- 
tomers are on lines with eight parties or 

fewer, compared with 62 percent at the 
beginning of 1946. 

Improvements in Service 

Improved ringing techniques are enabling 
Bell customers to hear the rings of fewer 
parties on their lines. Eighty-seven per- 
cent of all rural customers now have better 
ringing, compared with 76 percent in Jan- 
uary 1946. 

And as rapidly as possible, the magneto 
— crank type — telephone is being replaced 
by more up-to-date instruments. Today 
88 percent can signal the operator simply 
by lifting the telephone from its cradle. 
This compares with 78 percent three and 
a half years ago. 

To make it easier for farmers and others 
in rural areas to get telephone service, the 
amount of new pole line which the Bell 
companies will build for each new sub- 
scriber without charge has been substan- 
tially increased. Free construction of a 
half-mile of new pole line is now generally 
allowed for each new customer. In addi- 
tion, this allowance is being applied on 
an area coverage basis, which means that 
where lines are being extended to serve a 
particular section, any unused portion of a 
customer's free allowance is credited to 
other customers in the same neighborhood 
who need more. 

The telephone companies' rural program 
still presses forward. All the attention, 
resources, and experience of the Bell Sys- 
tem are being brought to bear on the im- 
portant job. The problem is recognized by 
the industry's leaders as one of the most 
vital challenges of recent years, and this 
challenge is being met. 

Four Early Correspondents Reveal W^hat JVent On during 

The Months when the First Bell Company Was Struggling 

To Become a Going Concern 

Robert Devonshire's 

Ralph E. Mooney 

If you read much Bell System mail, 
you probably will think the following 
letter a bit unusual: 

Dear Sir: Some time ago we sent you 
some telephones, since which time we have 
not heard from you. 

Please write us saying how they have 
worked and if they have given satisfaction 
and oblige. 

Yours truly. 
Bell Telephone Company 
per R.W.D. 

As a letter, that meets two quali- 
fications desirable today: it goes to 
the point and it wastes few words. 
Nevertheless, a modern business 
man might be somewhat surprised 
to get one like it from any of the 
Bell companies. He might wonder 
what "some" telephones could mean, 
and why we should doubt whether 
they would work satisfactorily. 

But its peculiarities are easy to 
understand when we take into account 

that it was sent to a man in Appleton, 
Wisconsin, in August, 1877, just a 
day or two after R.W.D. , or Robert 
W. Devonshire, went to work for 
the first of all Bell telephone com- 
panies, at Boston. It comes to us 
from a letterbook that is now a part 
of the material in the American Tele- 
phone Historical Library, at A. T. 
& T. headquarters in New York. 

Many of us today may not know 
what a letterbook is. This specimen 
is a cloth-bound volume, nine inches 
wide, eleven long, and about an inch 
thick. It contains, on 500 tissue 
sheets, copies of practically all the 
outgoing letters of the telephone 
business from August to December, 
1877. It is the System correspond- 
ence of four months bound in one 
short volume, you might say — al- 
though at the time the correspond- 
ence was written, the Bell Telephone 
System was no more than a gleam in 
the eye of certain of its founders. 

Robert Devonshire's Letterbook 


This letter press^ in the A. T. & T. Historical Library collection^ is similar to the one 

with which young Robert Devonshire made copies of the earliest ''telephone company*^ 

letters. Open beside it is the first letterbook^ containing the actual copies of outgoing 

letters between August and December^ ^877-> some of which 

are quoted in the accompanying article 

Typewriters were still in the ex- 
perimental stage, in 1877, so all let- 
ters were written by hand. If you 
wanted to keep what you would call 
today carbon copies, you would pro- 
vide yourself with a letterbook and a 
letter press. The process was to 
write the "orginal" of your letter in 
the very clearest script you could 
command, using copying ink. That 
done, you would place the original 
underneath a blank tissue sheet in 
your letter book. You would moisten 
the tissue sheet, and would put a 
piece of blotting paper over the 
damp tissue. Then you would close 

the book and arrange it on the bed of 
your letter press. You would screw 
the press down tightly and leave it a 
while. A copy would transfer from 
your original to the under side of 
the moist tissue — so that you would 
have to read the copy through the 
tissue rather than from the upper 
surface of it, if you should need to 
refer to it thereafter. 

It was a slow process, which gen- 
erally mussed both the original and 
the copy, but it did preserve exact 
duplicates of business letters. 

Such a letterbook preserves much 
more than the letters, with their 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


No picture of Robert W. Devonshire as a 
young man is available. This one shows 
how he looked on the occasion of a dinner 
in honor of his fiftieth Bell System service 
anniversary y in August 192^ 

varying scripts and the — to us — 
curious abbreviations of words that 
you sometimes find. Our book of 
1877 not only recalls the atmosphere 
of those months when there were only 
four men in the telephone business, 
but makes it possible for each of the 
four to tell us in his own words 
something of the problems he had to 
meet and solve. What we are deal- 
ing with, actually, is an intimate and 
priceless record of facts and per- 

Some Early History 

A BIT OF BRIEFING is in Order here, 
to bring us up to date — to August, 
1877, that is. About three years 
before Devonshire wrote his some- 
what vague letter to the Bell agent 

at Appleton, Alexander Graham Bell 
had begun experimenting on a method 
for sending several Morse messages 
simultaneously over a telegraph wire. 
Thomas Sanders, successful leather 
merchant of Haverhill, and Gardiner 
Greene Hubbard, civic-minded Bos- 
ton lawyer, had agreed to finance 
Bell's experiments, and shortly there- 
after Thomas A. Watson, a young 
technician at Charles Williams' elec- 
trical shop in Boston, had become in 
effect Bell's laboratory assistant. Bell 
had at the back of his mind the idea 
for transmitting speech electrically; 
and on June 2, 1875, ^^ experiment 
on the telegraphic device brought 
a result that verified his telephone 
theory. Thereafter nine months or 
more of experiment and study had 

This picture of Thomas A. Watson^ the 
man who made Bell's first telephone^ was 
taken in i8y8, when he was 24. During 
the earliest years of the business^ he was 
largely responsiblefor the practical develop- 
ment of Bell telephone service 


Robert Devonshire s Letterbook 


elapsed before his first patent was 
applied for, February 14, 1876. 

Bell's telephone attracted some at- 
tention at the Philadelphia Centen- 
nial Exposition, the following June. 
Thereafter, scientific demonstrations 
of it had been made. Public experi- 
ments had been performed. But still 
no telephone business had developed. 
Indeed, the first money the telephone 
had earned was from 50-cent admis- 
sions to lecture demonstrations by 
Alexander Graham Bell in person. 

At last, however, a few telephones 
had been rented for service toward 
the end of May, 1877. That made 
Bell, Hubbard, Sanders, and Wat- 
son feel there might be something in 
it after all, and they had formed the 
"Bell Telephone Company, Gardiner 
Greene Hubbard, Trustee." 

Thomas Sanders^ an able business man^ 
had confidence in the future of the tele- 
phone^ and backed it with more than 
$ioOyOOO — which was no small sum seventy- 
odd years ago 

Gardiner G. Hubbard^ always a man of 
vision^ established the policy of renting 
telephones rather than selling them; that 
isy making the telephone company respon- 
sible for providing telephone service 

You may wonder why Hubbard was 
named trustee and not president. 
Probably it was because trustees are 
common phenomena as administrators 
of property and enterprises around 
Boston. Furthermore, you do not 
usually have a president until a corpo- 
ration has been formed, and this was 
not a corporation. Whatever the 
reason, the trusteeship papers were 
signed July 9, 1877. Two days later, 
Bell was married to Mabel Hubbard, 
daughter of Gardiner G., and soon 
thereafter sailed with his bride for 
England, where he was to remain 
more than a year in efforts to get his 
telephone established in that country. 

So Hubbard, Sanders and Wat- 
son were left to set up the busi- 
ness. All telephones rented at this 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


Jr/' /-^ 

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6 /.,,.. 



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7/ < ua 

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''•\/l^,tf <r , ^,^ A',, 

After 7^ yearsy the copies in the old letterbook are too 
faded to reproduce clearly. This one, representative of 
much routine correspondence, lists by number four hand 
telephones, four box telephones, and four call bells. 
The signature is typical: "Yours truly. Bell Telephone 
Company per R. W. D." 

period were for private-line use — or, 
as these founders put It, "for speak- 
ing tube purposes." Three experi- 
mental switchboards had been tried, 
but months were to elapse before any- 
one would be ready to launch a com- 
mercial telephone exchange. 

Enter R.W.D. 

That was where Devonshire came 
into the picture. Eventually he was 
to become an A. T. & T. vice-president 

(he served as such from 
1913 to 1930) ; but in 
August, 1877, he was 
just a youngster trying 
to be both Commercial 
and Accounting depart- 
ments of the new enter- 

He was in virgin ter- 
ritory with rather a free 
hand. For Sanders, 
while treasurer of the 
Bell company, with all 
the duties of operating 
vice-president too, was 
forced to give consid- 
erable attention to his 
leather business at Hav- 
erhill, some miles from 
Boston. Hubbard, ad- 
ministrative head of the 
company, was spending 
most of his time in 
Washington as chair- 
man of a Congressional 
postal committee — a 
post to which he had 1 
been appointed by 
President Grant — a n d 
carrying on his law 
practice. Watson, who 
served as Research En- 
gineer and Plant De- 
combined, was the only 


other full-time employee, with Dev- 
onshire — unless you want to count a 
few men in Williams' shop who by 
now put in their full time making 

Devonshire most likely was the 
one who went out to some convenient 
stationer's to buy the letterbook, as 
well as the one who tended It, tak- 
ing on the office-boy chore of trans- 
ferring letters In addition to his many 


Robert Devonshire s Letterbook 



other duties. At any 
rate, the book begins 
about the day he went 
to work. 

He signed his mail 
"Bell Telephone Com- 
pany—per R.W.D.," 
and to him fell the job 
of explaining time and 
again that the magneto 
telephone bells then in 
use "cannot be used 
practically for more 
than 3 stations for the 
reason that even if the 
bells work well it causes 
altogether too much re- 
sistance on the line to 
talk through." Also he 
frequently had to tell 
new customers that "the 
best arrangement and 
the one that is almost 
universally adopted for 
business purposes is a 
box instrument [tele- 
phone] to talk to and 
a hand instrument to 
listen with at each sta- 

From a letter he sent 
to Bell agents at Savannah, Georgia, 
we learn that "There should be no 
trouble on account of noise made by 
surf. Put up a box and a hand in- 
strument, and at noisy places listen 
with the box at one ear and the hand 
at the other." Here Devonshire 
mentions an interesting early experi- 
ment : "We have used the instruments 
on an Express train going 40 miles 
an hour, communicating from Engine 
to 3rd passanger car with good re- 





- (, 


/. ", f/ r. 





C^Uci/.! , 

""1 ^"7 r 

''Connect Telephones to the 4 cups at the sides of the 
switch thus" says this letter^ and makes the ''thus" clear 
by a diagram in the middle of the text — a convenience 
which the modern carbon-copy method of preservation 
does not afford letter writers 

By November, however, while San- 
ders was on a trip to Detroit, Devon- 
shire was able to write a letter that 
indicates that he and the business had 
made considerable progress : 

In regard to correspondence, there has 
only been a few letters that would require 
your attention and Mr. Watson thought 
I had better not send them but wait until 
your return. If anything important came 
up would telegraph you. 

Have received P.O. orders to the amount 
of $70 from J. Ponton. Have money 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


enough in the cash drawer without using 
any of the above until after your return 
home. Have orders on the books at the 
present time for 872 instruments. 

Devonshire also sent forth a steady 
flow of invoices for shipments of two, 
four, six, or a dozen telephones. In 
each the serial numbers of the instru- 
ments were laboriously copied by 
hand. And, as each telephone cus- 
tomer signed a lease for equipment 
rented to him, Devonshire was con- 
stantly acknowledging receipt of leases 
numbered such-and-such from the 
growing list of agents appointed by 
Hubbard and Sanders. And — natu- 
rally — he was constantly finding mis- 
takes in the numbering of the leases, 
or in the serial numbers of equip- 
ment covered by the leases, all of 
which required more letters as well 
as corrections of his records. He 
also wrote letters in a secretarial 
capacity for Sanders, Watson, and 
even Charles Williams to sign. 
Quite a job young Devonshire had, 
with three alert and enterprising 
heads above him. 

He Footed the Bills 

Upon Thomas Sanders fell the bur- 
den of keeping the infant enterprise 
on its feet, and his letters make evi- 
dent the slenderness of the reserves 
on which the telephone business ran 
during those months. It is hard to 
comprehend now that the "telephone 
company" ever had to live from hand 
to mouth, but ours is just one of a 
great many American businesses that 
have passed through such periods in 
their beginning years. As a matter 
of fact, Sanders was the "angel" 
who "rescued the show" time and 
again, in 1877. He risked all he 

had, a few thousand dollars at a 
time, and borrowed until he put al- 
together $1 10,000 into the telephone, 
before it earned him a dollar of per- 
sonal return. 

In August, our letterbook shows 
him writing to Hubbard: 

Mr. Williams' bill is $4186 — therefore 
we shall have to put in the $5,000 you 
spoke to Mr. Watson about — ^$2,500 each. 
Will you send me your check for $2,500 
loaned the Company and I will do like- 
wise, as we ought to start square with 
Williams. Collections cannot be forced. 
I have jogged them all. . . . 

And here are three samples of San- 
ders' jogging, taken from his letters 
to Bell agents : 

As you have 369 Telephones and Calls 
[signaling equipment] altogether, I tho't 
you must be in receipt of at least $1,000 
and as I had occasion for the money tele- 
graphed if I should draw on you, I hope 
you will remit as soon as possible. 

(The process referred to may not 
be familiar. If someone who owes 
you money, or just someone who has 
money, gives permission for you to 
draw on him, you deposit in your bank 
a draft for the agreed amount. In 
effect, the other fellow allows you to 
write your check against his bank ac- 
count. If you need money quickly, 
this is, and more particularly was 
then, a faster process than waiting 
for a remittance to be mailed.) 

The other samples : 

You have about 150 telephones. I have 
received but $73. 

It costs something to manufacture tele- 
phones and magnetos, especially the latter, 
& as you have about 400 of the instruments 
all told, ought I not to receive a remittance 
from you? I should be very much pleased 


Robert Devonshire s Letterbook 


to see your autograph at the foot of a good- 
sized check but should not return a small 

By November, Sanders, too, could 
write in a much more confident tone : 

You have instruments on which the 
rental due is between $1200 and $1500. 
The amount I have received bears a very 
small proportion of this. If rentals in ad- 
vance means anything it is time some at- 
tention was paid to it. This thing is no 
longer an experiment, it is business. 

Also, he exhorted and instructed 
agents in this vein: "I receive letters 
every day asking about 
telephone s — I refer 
them to you and still 
they come saying they 
have heard from you 
but cannot secure atten- 
tion." Or in this: "You 
have a large field and I 
should think it would be 
advisable for you to ap- 
point sub-agents and not 
quarrel with everybody. 
The field is not half sup- 
plied." Or this: "I am 
glad to see that you 
have established a 
New Hampshire agency 
— I have referred 3 or 
4 customers to him al- 
ready — I hope he is en- 
ergetic as he has quite a 
field. New Hampshire 
people you know are 
slow but sure & there 
will yet be a consider- 
able income from that 

Even in November, 
however, with more 
than 2,000 telephones 
rented and Sanders con- 

vinced, as he says, that this was busi- 
ness, he had moments when he found 
the state of affairs a bit overwhelm- 
ing. Witness his letter to Hubbard: 

I like your suggestion about the collec- 
tions of agents on instruments sent & see 
no reason why it should not be enforced. 
Meanwhile we must have some money for 
our present needs. I hqpe you can meet me 
in New York next week as something must 
be done. . . . 

I am at your service at any time with suf- 
ficient notice for a daylight passage as I 
take my wife & child & propose Western 
New York and Detroit before I return 

The Telephone. 

THt pniimton of Ifce TekplwM. ll« innalioa •» Alc»i«fcr Cimham BcH. fo. «hkli i*lraU hmxt ben 
issHd 1» Ike Vailed Sul«« and Cr«al Bnbui. ttt ta" |«T|p«t<l U) fimUli Ttfephooet br tU t rnwrnm i o n 
of utnUte aimck tkra^ inalnmaib Bot men Uaa tw«ty mHa it^t. Co«v»is»tK>o cmi ke e««ilx 
curieJ 00 ofttr iJigkt l««*ic« ud witll Ike OK«ioi«I i«p«tilio« of s worf oe mursce. <>■ Snt bteoiag to 
Ike Tckfkooe. tkongk tke mmai b petfeclly aodikk. Ike aitkiOatioo tmm u, ke ialmiact; k« ttttr > few 
trab Ike ear kniiiia lliwllllil |o Ike peoakar scund aad fiods Utile iiBoAj M 1 

Tke TelerbM Aodd ke Mt in • qoiet lOace, «keR Ikeie is n> nabe i 

Tke adnnla-ea of Ifce TeleiAoae orer Ike Tek-n|ik br local k maeM an 

Ist Tkat DO sVilW opcialor b ivioind. b«t ditect r o w— i»»l i< i « anjr ke kai Ij sfeeck <itkoiK ike 
iolerventiou of a Ikinl pencA. 

■il Tkat Ike eomoaaicalioa b mack laote lapU. Ike avecage mimler of «w* tianaiucd a Miaate 
by Mone Soander beiag from fifteea to twealjr, ky Telepkooe fro« oae to two bundRiL 

3d. Tkat no expcaae b lequirai eitker for its opetatioa, maiateaance. or repair. It acedr DO tottery, 
aad kaa DO complicated DMJuaery. Il b aasannaed br ecooomy ani simplicily. 

Tke Toaa for leaaiag two TelepfcoMl for sodal (wroiea coaarctias a dweUiDs-boose aitk aay otker 
UiMia; will ke «20 a year, br kaiaeaa paiposei »4« a year, payable tesiaDaoally ia adnace, wilk Ike 
cott of eipnasage from Boaloa, Sew York, Ciacianati, Ckicago. St. loab. or Saa Fiaacbcoi Tke iastntmeaU 
will ke kept ia -ood workup order ky tke leaaors. free of eapeaae, except tnm iajaries leaakia- fiom Jitat 

Several TdepkoiM eaa ke placed oa tke aaage liae at aa additicaa] lealal of tlO br eack iaabameal; 
kal tke aae of more tkaa two oo t><e raaae liae wkeie frncj b retailed b Dot adrtied. Aay peim ailkia 
ordiaaiy ksoiag distance caa kear die voire calli^ tknmsk tka Telepkime. If a lomlcr call b leqaiied oae 
can ke faiDtsked br Sa 

Telegiaph liaes will ke coostracted by the proprxtaia if deiiied. Tke price *in vafy bna S 100 to 1 150 
a mile ; aay good aM^kaaiw caa cmstract a liae ; Ka 9 wise coats 8| eeatt a peaad, 320 poaod* to tke 
mile; 31 iaaalabin at 25 ceata rack; tke price of poles and aettiag varies ia cvasy locality; stringiae wire 
$5 per nule; sandiies $10 per auleL 

-Parties IcaaiBg Ike Telepkoaes iacor no expense beyond tke annaal rental aad tke repair of Ike liae 
wira Ob tke Sallowing pages are extiacts bam tke Press aad otker saarccs relatiag to Ike Telepboae. 


Cmm i s ». MMa, M^, 1S77. 
For futkcr iafonaatioa and orders adjrese 

THOSl a, WATSOX, 109 Ctxa St, Bostox. 

The first telephone advertisement offers ''Telephones for 
the transmission of articulate speech through instruments 
not more than twenty miles apart." The offer was for 
private-line use^ since telephone exchange service was 
not developed until i8y8 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


here [Boston]. Will you endeavour to get 
to New York next week and relieve my 
mind on various vexatious points. . . . 

I wish you lived nearer & had more 
leisure in which perhaps you join me. With 
regards to Mrs. Hubbard. 

The Responsibility for Service 

Since Gardiner Greene Hubbard was 
away from Boston most of the time, 
not many of his letters found their 
way into Devonshire's book. Those 
that did repeat quite often the state- 
ment : "We do not sell any telephones, 
only lease them at the annual rate of 
$40 a year for a set of four." For it 
was very clear to Hubbard that if 
telephone service should ever develop, 
it would be because the telephone 
company made itself responsible for 
the working of that service. He was 
often urged to sell telephones and let 
the buyers do what they pleased with 
them, but he understood, with re- 
markable foresight, that however at- 
tractive that way might seem momen- 
tarily, it was likely to be a blind alley 
in the long run. 

We find Hubbard writing to 
George L. Bradley, of Providence, 
R. I., on October 12, 1877, the letter 
that led within a few months to for- 
mation of the first Bell telephone cor- 
porations (the New England Tele- 
phone Company and The Bell Tele- 
phone Company), to which Bradley 
and other investors subscribed fresh 
capital that relieved the terrific strain 
on- Sanders' resources. Bradley was 
to become general agent of the new 
companies, later treasurer, and to con- 
tinue as treasurer when they were 
combined to form the National Bell 
Telephone Company. But all that 
was in the future. Hubbard's Octo- 
ber, 1877, letter told Bradley this: 

The Bell Telephone Co. commenced 
leasing telephones in June last as an experi- 
ment without knowing either the best way 
of introducing them to the public or what 
was to be the value of the invention. 

On the first of October we had rented 
2,000 telephones. A continually increas- 
ing demand, and extension of the uses to 
which the telephone is applied satisfy us 
that it meets a great public need, and will 
be almost universally used. 

From this point, Hubbard's letter 
goes on to state the prospects for 
revenue (still on a private-line basis; 
the possibility of exchanges not even 
mentioned) and to give a memoran- 
dum proposing formation of what 
turned out to be the New England 
Telephone Company. 

Making Things Work 

Interesting revelations of behind- 
the-scenes activity in the infancy of 
our business appear in the letters 
of Tom Watson, written as he filled 
his triple role of inventor, engineer, 
and plant chief. 

We often find him sending specifi- 
cations for new ringing devices to the 
company's patent attorney at Wash- 
ington. For, as soon as Watson had ' 
succeeded in overcoming a booming 
effect that made the lecture-demon- 
stration telephones unsuitable for 
everyday use, he had to find some kind 
of call signal. His first, never satis- 
factory, was a thumper that produced 
a snare-drum rattle at the called tele- 
phone. His next, also unsatisfactory, 
came to be known as Watson's 
buzzer, although the noise it made 
was actually a howl caused by send- 
ing alternately strong and weak cur- 
rent through an induction coil. Fi- 
nally he began developing magneto j 
or turn-the-crank bells, and while his 


Robert Devonshire s Letterbook 


l^ell ^elejihon^ ^^o^ 

eH'f^^ ^^^Pi^e^&'f^ 



ALEX. GR.^HAM BELL, Electrician, 


The business card of the Bell Telephone Company of i8jy. 

The address^ log Court Street^ was that of Charles Williams^ 

electrical shop, where were manufactured the box and hand 

telephones mentioned in so many of the early letters 

first attempts were fumbling, he soon 
produced so good a bell that it con- 
tinues in use today. 

When not writing specifications for 
new "calls," or placatory letters ex- 
plaining how to make his less reliable 
models work, Watson found time to 
cover many subjects. He sent out 
instructions like these : 

Talk to the box instrument with lips 
touching the mouthpiece, keeping the hand 
instrument close to the ear. 

If a thunderstorm threatens, insert the 
small plug in the hole in the lightning ar- 
rester. The instruments are then cut out. 

A great deal of Watson's time was 
devoted to experiments. For ex- 
ample, he wrote to J. C. Gaines, at 
Duxbury, Massachusetts, to ask if he 
might listen on the transatlantic tele- 
graph cable (the French cable) that 
terminated there. In a second letter 
he said, 

I think 3'^ou misunderstand me. I did not 
wish to try to talk through the cable as 
Mr. Bell is at present [1877] in Europe 

experimenting in that direction. What I 
wanted to do was to connect with your 
cable and listen to find out what noises 
there were ; which would enable me to pre- 
pare Instruments to use with greater hopes 
of success in case Prof. Bell should make 
arangements to try to talk through a Trans- 
Atlantic cable. 

Incidentally, these experiments by 
Watson and associates who were en- 
listed on this side of the ocean, plus 
tests arranged in England by Bell, 
ruled out any attempts at trans- 
atlantic conversations through the un- 
dersea cables. 

Letters from Watson to Hilborne 
L. Roosevelt, in New York, indicate 
that he tried more than once during 
1877 to talk from Boston to New 
York, over borrowed telegraph wires. 
In one letter, these lines occur: "The 
fact that we could not hear as well on 
4 wires as we could on one would 
seem to indicate that it is not the 
resistance of the circuit that lessens 
the loudness of the sound, but the 
little innumerable escapes in the line. 
How does this strike you? There is 


Bell Telephone Magazine 


no doubt that with a special com- 
pound wire we could do despatch busi- 
ness between the two cities." It is 
interesting here to observe Watson's 
concern over the possibilities of long 
distance service even before exchange 
service existed. 

In October, we find Watson getting 
quotations and placing his first order 
for lOO rubber hand telephones — 
ancestors of the millions of black rub- 
ber receivers that have since been 
used. He also experimented with cel- 
luloid cases. 

There is a not wholly unfamiliar 
note in this letter which he wrote to 
Hubbard in November: 

Have received several Telegraphs {sic) 
lately in regard to orders and I now rise to 

Nothing would give me greater pleasure 
than to fill orders as they are received but 
there are so many urgent ones that I have 
to divide my product amongst them, I am 
doing my best to get instruments out & 
hope to catch up to my orders in about 
two weeks, I am so far behind hand that I 
have found it impossible to stick to any 
system except division of each day's prod- 
uct among the most urgent of the agents. 

In regard to enclosures in your last let- 
ter, Illinois man's invention is worthless in 
my opinion. 

Preece's idea for overcoming induction, 
mentioned in Mrs. Bell's letter, is the same 
that I explained to you some time ago when 
Cheever tested his Brooklyn Bridge cable. 

We cannot be certain what Illinois 
man or invention is referred to, but 
Preece, in the final paragraph, was 
Sir William Henry Preece, later a 
wireless pioneer and authority on in- 
duction and then electrician for the 
British Post Office. Cheever was 
Charles A. Cheever who, with Hil- 
borne L. Roosevelt, had the first Bell 

agency in New York City, which by 
this time was styled "The Telephone 
Company of New York." The 
Brooklyn Bridge "cable" that Cheever 
tested may have been a borrowed 
telegraph cable, but more probably 
was a line supplied to J. Lloyd Haigh, 
who was manufacturing wire for the 
Bridge suspension cables, and who 
had probably the first telephone line 
across the East River strung on the 
bridge from his office in New York to 
his plant in South Brooklyn. 

In a later letter to Hubbard, Wat- 
son says: "Have just received your 
telegraph saying to deliver no instru- 
ments except to those paying in ad- 
vance. If I do that I won't have any- 
body to send to except Cornish, 
Haskins & Hamilton, so will pursue 
present plan until Mr. Sanders re- 
turns. Is this satisfactory?" 

"Cornish" was T. E. Cornish, Bell 
agent at Philadelphia, later founder 
of the exchange there. The others 
mentioned were C. H. Haskins and 
H. H. Hamilton, agents at Milwau- 
kee, Wis., and Sayre, Pa., respec- 

Watson's gentle sense of humor, 
which may be further sampled in his 
entertaining autobiography Exploring 
Life, occasionally crept into his letters 
in 1877. This is illustrated in one 
written to Frederick A. Gower. 
After Bell sailed to England, Gower 
had been given the exclusive right to 
lecture on the telephone in the United 
States, and he was not in the least in- 
clined to share that privilege. That 
fact Watson dealt with in this way: 

The Rev. Elias Nason has just called 
upon me and wants to know if I will assist 
him to illustrate his telephone lecture with 
the Bell Telephone. I tell him I will do 


Robert Devonshire s Letterbook 


so with pleasure if he will first obtain your 
consent. He left perfectly confident that 
he could obtain that and was a very happy 
man. Poor fellow! 

To QUOTE FURTHER from our first 
letterbook would be, In the main, 
repetitious. To spell out the con- 
trasts between those earliest telephone 
days and now would be to labor the 
obvious. Let us take leave^ then, of 
four men with whom we have formed 

a slight acquaintance. Their labors 
were fundamental : they sowed some 
of the seeds from which our great 
public service has sprung. Their 
ways parted after a relatively brief 
period, and only one of them — 
Devonshire — made the telephone his 
life's career. But as long as the ten- 
der tissue copies of their letters are 
preserved, they leave between the 
covers of that letterbook a bond 
among themselves, and with us. 



Speaking and Singing Telaphonl, 

In \U* pniolical work <>t roiiveying 


Giving tiie tones of the voice so the jhthoii speaking c&n !>►• 
renognizeil by tht* Monud at thf other end «>f the line. 

The Siimlay Sch.ol of the * 

(Old 3fohn street m ^. (thutrh. 

Ilaviriu' Ht-ciireil :v lart^e mjiiil>er ofProt' A. <J H^IPm TEL"5PH0NBIi willgirt's-i 

EXHIBITIO!9»iti. CHURCH, 44 & 46 JOHN 8T.N.Y. 

wlifie .'»ll vi.HiioiH (i(-<iriti>4 fan ni ik« for ihoiUH.'lvi-* a prar!i.»| ii(ve!*lii^4tiori ol" th' 
Tcl6phonCt ''y Jt^kin^ -iiirslion«. Iiparin^ the un-«\<rfrM fcu tJi«ir ijiu-^tionf 
.•iiiil liHU'iiiti^ to the Hiiji^iii.4 conviyi-d thmmrii the Tflfphoiu** from thw othrr 
end ofllio line. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday Afternoons 

November 20th & 21st, 1877. 

Kroni 11^ A. M. until 7 V M. 

AdmissioQ to either Afternoon Exhibition 15 Cents. 

yf poster of the period 


Fantastic or not, Gentlemen, we have just been 
chosen by the Book-of-the-Month Club 

By permission of the Saturday Review oj Literature 

Desert Isle Books 

Since this is vacation time, when one 
never knows how soon the canoe will cap- 
size in the Hudson, it also is the open sea- 
son for speculation as to life on that desert 
island. That is the island, it will be re- 
membered, to which the reader may take 
three books of his choice. Two of these 
are, to be sure, only his choice by courtesy, 
for no potential castaway would dare start 
off without the Bible and Shakespeare. 
The third, however, may be his own. The 
good Republican might take the collected 
addresses of Thomas E. Dewey, perusing 
them in the twilight, and the exiled de- 
tective could do far worse than Father 

The wise man, however, will take with 
him an even more familiar work than are 
these two. After the usual tradition, the 
Bible and Shakespeare will be for display 

purposes on the driftwood shelves, but the 
Manhattan telephone book will be for read- 
ing. That book at the side, and a wilder- 
ness immediately becomes true paradise. 

There is, of course, no point in being on 
a desert island unless there is pleasure in 
it. A true castaway, clutching his Bible 
and Shakespeare and one other, is a cast- 
away from choice. Intellectually, he may 
remember that the professors once told him 
of the poetry of Genesis, and he may have 
heard Maurice Evans give the death of 
kings speech of "Richard II." Naturally, 
he will plan to look up both those things 
during his chance vacation. That is a clear 
duty of the mind, and should be attended 
to without fail, somewhat later. 

In the meanwhile, in the late afternoon 
when he has gathered his dinner of turtle 
eggs and coconuts, he is entitled to read a 


Desert Isle Books 


bit for sheer pleasure. That pleasure best 
can be defined as seeing, in neat columns 
of four, some 1,500 pages of numbers he 
cannot call, of numbers that cannot call 
him back. What is "Hamlet" as opposed 
to this, and what the Song of Solomon? 

The castaway will find the telephone 
book excellent reading at every hour of the 
day. It is, say, 9 o'clock on a Monday 
morning. What better form of relaxation 
can there be than to look up the number 
of the bank which once employed him, and 
then nod happily that he cannot call. He 
can visualize the bank's switchboard aglow 
with lights, as other vice presidents try to 
find him, and, looking up his own number, 
he can see that is the one which does not 
answer. He can spend a happy castaway 
morning not telephoning the dentist, the 
doctor, Joe and the locker room at the 
Yale Club. He can spend his lunch hour 
cheerfully tearing up memoranda which 
was not telephoned in during his absence. 
As the afternoon wears on, he can look up 
the number of the Stork Club, not tele- 
phoning for a reservation, and he can get 
into a violent argument with the box-office 
man at the Empire. All these things he 
can do with the daylight, but it is with the 
evening that the castaway, reading on, can 
truly reach the summit of his pleasure. 

The evening with a telephone book on a 
deserted island could be wonderful. It is 
summer, and all around the home neighbor- 
hood chance parties are in progress. Host- 
esses on several pages are looking up the 
number, but his will not answer and so he 
will keep out of trouble. That one number 
he called perhaps too often, with the seri- 

ousness of Hamlet and the lamentation of 
Job, he cannot telephone tonight. Perhaps 
she is sitting there, and rightly so, for now 
it is her turn to wait. 

With the evening, the castaway can be- 
come a man about town, a roue of the coco- 
nuts. He can look up and not call all the 
girls on a given page whose first name is 
Ann, and he can take the most likely on a 
series of wild, improbable adventures. He 
can stay out all night, and come back in the 
morning with his high silk hat battered flat. 
Later on he can look up her number again, 
but it is obvious that he cannot call to apol- 
ogize. That charming incident has been 
ended cleanly. 

As time drifts on, and the days pass along 
into weeks and months, the castaway will 
find that the circle of his friendships has 
widened and increased. Chance compan- 
ions may be found on every page, and many 
of them, like the Smiths and Browns, have 
relatives. After a particularly large turtle 
has waddled up the beach, he can decide to 
give the perfect dinner party, the one with 
lists of guests but at which he eats all the 
meat himself. 

The weeks will pass into months and 
years of a perfect life until a cloud, in the 
form of a ship, comes slowly forward from 
the horizon. The true castaway then will 
leave on the driftwood shelves for Friday 
the copies of Shakespeare and the Bible. 
To the lagoon inland, he then will flee, car- 
rying that other — a free soul who can nei- 
ther call nor answer, the man with the 
best third book for the desert isle. 

From The New York Times, by per- 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the 
Bell Telephone Quarterly 

Items from Volume III, Number 3, July 1924 

Transmission of Pictures 
Over Telephone Wires 

Worldwide interest has been created by 
the demonstration on May 19 of the trans- 
mission of photographs over telephone wires 
between Cleveland and New York, a dis- 
tance of 522 miles. The pictures were re- 
produced in the New York newspapers of 
May 20 and the achievement was hailed as 
"a great scientific triumph" and "another 
of the world's wonders. ..." 

For many years the Research Labora- 
tories of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company and the Western 
Electric Company have been engaged in 
the solution of problems which directly or 
indirectly made picture transmission pos- 
sible. When the solution of the picture 
problem was sought, there were available 
the whole vacuum tube art, electrical fil- 
ters, accurate synchronizing methods, light 
valves and photo-electric cells, all impor- 
tant elements enabling the engineers to go 
ahead and develop from these a complete 
w^orking system. . . . 

The credit for the actual work of de- 
velopment of this new process of sending 
pictures over telephone wires belongs to 
many engineers. It is the result of the 
concerted efforts of specialists in the sys- 
tem of communications, demonstrating 
once again the advantages to be gained 
from a large research organization co- 
operating in the solution of technical prob- 
lems. It is an example of the cumulative 
results of past discoveries and researches. 

The importance of the new invention 
was at once recognized. Within 48 hours 
cable requests for information and details 
came from the leading countries of Europe 

and South America. In the United States 
the newspapers were enthusiastic in their 
praise. Practically all the larger papers of 
the country reproduced the pictures that 
were sent in the initial tests, with a detailed 
description of the apparatus and extended 
comment. From Maine to California the 
reaction proved most favorable, it being 
recognized that a truly great engineering 
achievement had been accomplished and 
that this new development in the field of 
communication meant opening the door to 
the general transmission of pictures by 
wire. . . . 

The Bell Room at Salem 

On June 5 there was a meeting of his- 
torical interest to all telephone people in 
the Salem, Massachusetts, Young Men's 
Christian Association building, which is 
located on the site of the old Sanders house. 
There Alexander Graham Bell tutored the 
deaf child of Thomas Sanders and did 
much of the experimental work that led 
up to the invention of the telephone. On 
this occasion a room was dedicated as a 
memorial of the association of the location 
with the telephone. A set of models of 
early telephone instruments, made under 
the supervision of Wilton L. Richards of 
the Bell System Historical Museum, was 
presented by E. W. Longley, Vice-Presi- 
dent of the New England Telephone and 
Telegraph Company. Mr. H. B. Thayer, 
President of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Company, and John J. Carty 
sent messages of congratulation expressing 
the interest felt throughout the Bell Sys- 
tem in such a historic occasion. 


Bell Laboratories and Western Electric 
To Operate Sandia Laboratory for AEC 

Selection of the Bell Telephone Laboratories and the Western Electric 
Company to operate the Sandia Laboratory, at Sandia Base, Albu- 
querque, N. M., for the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission was an- 
nounced on July 12 by the AEC in the following statement: 

The United States Atomic Energy 
Commission announced today that the 
services of the Western Electric Com- 
pany and the Bell Telephone Labora- 
tories have been obtained for the opera- 
tion of the Sandia Laboratory, at Sandia 
Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Negotiations have been started on a 
contract for these services with the 
Western Electric Company, equipment 
manufacturing subsidiary of the Ameri- 
can Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany, in accordance with arrangements 
between the Commission and Leroy A. 
Wilson, President of A. T. & T. 

The new operators of the Laboratory 
will have an important function in 
bridging the gap between laboratory de- 
velopment work and the manufacturing 
operations on atomic weapons. Sandia 
is also an important point of contact be- 
tw-een AEC operations and the mili- 
tary activities relating to atomic energ}'. 
The Sandia Laboratory has been oper- 
ated since 1945 by the University of 
California under its contract for the 
operation of the Los Alamos Scientific 
Laboratory. Sandia has grown from a 
small liaison group representing Los 
Alamos into a major facility. The 
University of California advised the 
Commission last winter that the Uni- 
versit}' felt it should not continue to 
manage Sandia as a part of the sci- 
entific research program of the Los 
Alamos Laboratory. 

The growth of the Sandia Labora- 
tory has been a result of the Commis- 
sion's effort to integrate research, de- 

velopment, and production activities in 
accordance with best academic and in- 
dustrial practice and with the most 
competent available supervision in each 
technical area. 

After extensive consideration of the 
many complex organizational and tech- 
nical problems that are involved, the 
Commission decided to ask A. T. & T. 
to make available to this project the 
full technical and managerial resources 
of the Bell System's developmental and 
manufacturing subsidiaries. 

A special team of Western • Electric, 
Bell Laboratories, and AEC officials 
will go to Sandia immediately to pre- 
pare for the transfer of the project to 
the new contractor. Included in the 
group are Stanley Bracken, President,. 
Fred R. Lack, Vice President, Radio 
Division, and George A. Landry, Oper- 
ating Manager, Installation Depart- 
ment, Western Electric Company; Dr. 
Mervin J, Kelly, Executive Vice Presi- 
dent, and Donald A. Quarles, Vice 
President in charge of Staff, Bell Lab- 
oratories; and Brigadier General James 
McCormack, Jr., Director, Division of 
Military Application, AEC. 

Operations of both Los Alamos and 
Sandia are carried on under the AEC's 
Santa Fe Office, of which Carroll L. 
Tyler is Manager. Head of the Com- 
mission's Sandia Area Office under Mr. 
Tyler is George P. Kraker. Dr. Nor- 
ris E. Bradbury is Director of the Los 
Alamos Scientific Laboratory and Paul 
J. Larsen is Director of the Sandia 


Who's Who & What's What 
in This Issue 

"Sixty-four-dollar questions" might be 
an alternative title for this issue's first ar- 
ticle; but the quiz program which Harry 
DissTON describes is more important than 
that on any radio program. Mr. Disston 
started his telephone career in 1921 with 
the New York Telephone Company in 
Manhattan, and became a district traffic 
superintendent in Brooklyn before chang- 
ing to the Commercial Department. There 
he became successively district manager and 
division commercial superintendent. In 
1932 he transferred to the Commercial Di- 
vision of the Department of Operation and 
Engineering of the A. T. & T. Co., and for 
nine years fulfilled various assignments in 
the Commercial Results Section. He left 
for active military duty in 1941, and spent 
three of the next five years in the Southwest 
Pacific, with the First Cavalry Division, 
in command of an island forward base, on 
the staff of Gen. MacArthur's Service 

Forces, as Executive Officer of Manila, and 
on the General Staff of one of the invasion 
commands. He rose from Major to Col- 
onel, was awarded the Legion of Merit and 
the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Clus- 
ter, and is Colonel commanding the Seventh 
Regiment, New York National Guard. 
He returned to A. T. & T. in January 
1946, and is now in charge of the group en- 
gaged in telephone development, revenues, 
and expense analysis. This, as might be 
supposed from the tenor of his article, is the 
group which assists the Associated Com- 
panies of the Bell System in the plans, pro- 
cedures, and organization of their Commer- 
cial forecasting activities. 

One thing often follows another, and the 
article on the use of communications by the 
Red Cross in time of disaster follows a visit 
of this Magazine^s editor to the scene of 
the record blizzards on the Great Plains 

Harry Disston 

Wade Jones 


Who's Who ^ What's What 


last winter, to observe their effect on tele- 
phone service. In Omaha he observed also 
the efficiency with which the humanitarian 
activities of the Red Cross in that area were 
organized and administered, and the impor- 
tant part which the telephone played 
therein. There followed then a suggestion 
to the national headquarters of the Red 
Cross in Washington that such a story 
would be well worth telling — and Wade 
JoxES has undertaken to tell it. A staff 
writer in the Public Relations Department 
of the American National Red Cross, he 
was for three years a reporter on the Stars 
and Stripes, serving in that capacity in 
Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. He 
has also been a reporter on newspapers in 
Washington, D. C, and Richmond, Va., 
and for a time was radio news writer for 
the Columbia Broadcasting System in New 

The historical library of the A. T. & 
T. Company, in the headquarters building 
at 195 Broadway, New York, is a mine of 
historic facts, always interesting and fre- 
quently significant, to be discovered by a 
patient seeker. Those last words describe 
Ralph Mooney, who has been Historical 
Librarian since early in 1945. After some 

Ralph E. Mooney 

years of newspaper and trade-journal ex- 
perience, and service in World War I as 
Captain of Infantry, he joined the South- 
western' Bell Telephone Company in 1922. 
He became editor of the Southwestern 
Telephone News in 1924, moved over to 
the advertising staff in 1938, and in 1944 
transferred to the Information Q^partment 
of the A, T. & T. Co. He contributed 
"Outwitting a River on a Rampage" to this 
Magazine for Spring 1945. 


A Look Around — And Ahead • Leroy A. Wilson 

Long Distance Finds the Way • William H. Nunn 

War-Time Taxes on Communication Services in 1949 

Giving New Life to Old Equipment • Philip H. Mielb 

' Private Line Services for the Aviation Industry 
Henry V. Roumfort 

Bell TelephoneA^W 

ylutumn 1949 

A Look Around — And Ahead, Leroy A. Wilson, 133 

Long Distance Finds the Way, William H. Nunn, 137 

Pension Minimums Are Raised, 148 

War-Time Taxes on Communication Services in 1949, 149 

Giving New Life to Old Equipment, Philip H. Miele, 154 

Their Politeness Goes Deep, 164 

Private Line Services for the Aviation Industry, 
Henry V . Roumfort, 165 

Twenty-five Years Ago in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, 175 

A Medium of Suggestion ^ a Record of Progress 

Published for the supervisory forces of the Bell System by the Information Department of 
American Telephone and Telegraph Co., 795 Broadway, New York 7, N. Y. 
Leroy A. Wilson, President; Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, Sec; Donald R. Belcher, Treas. 

Who's Who & What's What 
in This Issue 

The election of Leroy A. Wilson on 
February i8, 1948, to the presidency of the 
American Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany followed by some 26 years the start 
of his Bell System career in the Indiana 
Bell Telephone Company. Two days af- 
ter graduation from Rose Polytechnic In- 
stitute in Terre Haute, in June of 1922, he 
reported for work as a traffic clerk and stu- 
dent in Indianapolis. For some years with 
that company he had direct charge of the 
telephone operating forces in several dis- 
tricts throughout the state before returning 
to Indianapolis as district traffic superin- 
tendent in 1927. 

Mr. Wilson transferred in 1929 to the 
Department of Operation and Engineering 
of the A. T. & T. Company in New York. 
His first work there was in the Traffic divi- 
sion, but he also gained experience in dial 
equipment engineering and in related fields. 
Ten years after his arrival in New York, he 
moved from the Traffic to the Commercial 
division of O. & E., where he was placed in 

charge of the work on telephone directories. 
The following year he was made rate engi- 
neer in the same division, and in 1942 he 
was appointed to head the entire Commer- 
cial division. 

It was from this post that Mr, Wilson 
was promoted to an A. T. & T. vice presi- 
dency in 1944, with the assignment to study 
the revenue requirements of the Bell Sys- 
tem ; and it was during this period that he 
contributed "Reasonable Earnings to Insure 
the Best Service" to the Magazine for Au- 
tumn 1945. His statements to stockholders 
at the last two annual meetings have ap- 
peared in these pages: "We Must Continue 
to Go Forward" in the issue for Spring 
1948, and "Moving Ahead on Two All- 
Important Jobs" in that for Spring 1949. 

The familiar expression of the "ideal 
and aim" of the Bell System in terms of 
"enabling anyone anywhere to pick up a 
telephone and talk to anyone else anywhere 
else, clearly, quickly, and at a reasonable 

Leroy A. Wilson 

William H. Nunn 

Who's Who & What's What 


Henry V. Roumfort 

Philip H. Miele 

cost" has many implications. What it takes 
to make good simply on the "an\^where" 
part of the statement is the theme of Wil- 
liam H. Nunn's discussion of an impor- 
tant — if not widely known — Traffic activ- 
ity. Mr. Nunn started his telephone career 
in 191 5 in Los Angeles, with the Home 
Telephone Company, which later became 
part of the Southern California Telephone 
Company. After 13 years of Plant expe- 
rience, he joined the Traffic Department 
in Los Angeles, and in 1935 he moved to 
Portland, Ore., as general traffic engineer, 
and remained there until 1940. After sev- 
eral years as general traffic engineer and 
as traffic operations engineer on the ex- 
ecutive staff in San Francisco, Mr. Nunn 
became general traffic manager of the 
Northern California-Nevada Area of the 
Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Com- 
pany. It was this position which he left 
last summer to become traffic facilities en- 
gineer in the Traffic division of A. T. & T.'s 
Department of Operation and Engineering. 
As is not infrequently the case in the exposi- 
tion of a departmental operation, the pres- 
ent article reflects an effective collaboration, 
and Mr. Nunn wishes to acknowledge par- 
ticularly the assistance of George L. Goudy, 
a member of his staff. 

Telephone calls cannot be mass-pro- 
duced in advance and stored on a shelf un- 
til used. Each is "tailor made" to a cus- 
tomer's order. This is equally true with 
regard to what are known as private line 
services. These are individually designed 
to meet each customer's requirements, after 
careful study and analysis have been made 
of his particular needs for service and equip- 
ment by Commercial representatives of Bell 
System Operating Companies and the Long 
Lines Department. Henry V. Roumfort, 
who describes some of the special communi- 
cation services which the Bell System pro- 
vides for commercial air lines, is private line 
sales manager for Long Lines, and has been 
responsible for the development of methods 
and practices for the sale of those services. 
His Long Lines career began with Division 
2 Plant at Harrisburg, Pa., in 1926, and he 
has since served in the Commercial depart- 
ment in Washington, Philadelphia, and 
New York. His assignment to the general 
office in the last-named city dates from 

Newspaper reporting and radio news- 
editing preceded Philip H. Miele's two 
years as a French interpreter at General 
(Continued on page 176) 

A curve on a highway of speech. Pole, cross arms, wires, cable, all make a dramatic 
silhouette against the sky. See ''Long Distance Finds the fVay,'' beginning on page Jjy 

The President of the A, T, Sf T. Company Discusses Some 

of the Obligations and